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FOUR Englishwomen have, during the last thirty years, 
established for themselves a well-grounded fame as 
travellers Mrs. Bishop, Miss North, Miss Kingsley, 
and Miss Gordon Gumming. Lady Baker and Lady 
Burton were as brave and as resourceful as any 
of the four ; but it must be remembered that each of 
them was protected by the presence of her husband 
against the most powerful of terrorising influences, 
namely, the solitude which magnifies peril and 
weakens resistance. 

Each of these four ladies has her own special 
characteristic, literary and artistic ; each in her own 
way has shown what English ladies can do, and 
with pen and pencil has aroused the interest and 
admiration of the reading public. Two generations 
of readers have been strongly attracted by Mrs. Bishop's 
books of travel, and her capacity for accurate observa- 
tion, her retentive memory, and her power of vivid 
portrayal, have enabled multitudes to share her 
experiences and adventures in those lands beyond the 
pale which drew her ever with magnetic force. 

To this widespread circle, which learnt to admire 
her resourceful self-reliance, is due some account of 
the circumstances which moulded her character, and 
of the work which she accomplished for her fellows. 


As a traveller Mrs. Bishop's outstanding merit is, 
that she nearly always conquered her territories 
alone; that she faced the wilderness almost single- 
handed ; that she observed and recorded without 
companionship. She suffered no toil to impede her, 
no study to repel her. She triumphed over her 
own limitations of health and strength as over the 
dangers of the road. Nor did she ever lose, in 
numberless rough vicissitudes, in intercourse with 
untutored peoples, or in the strenuous dominance 
which she was repeatedly compelled to exercise, her 
womanly graces of tranquil manner, gentle voice, 
reasonable persuasiveness. Wherever she found her 
servants whether coolies, mule-drivers, soldiers, or 
personal attendants she secured their devotion. 
The exceptions were very rare, and prove the rule. 

Wherever she went, she gave freely the skilled 
help with which her training had furnished her, and 
her journeys were as much opportunities for healing, 
nursing, and teaching, as for incident and adventure. 
She longed to serve every human being with whom 
she came in contact. 

I have sought to present her as I knew her. She 
so kept the balance of her gifts that it is difficult 
to indicate one quality as more characteristic than 
another. A woman of deep religious conviction and 
practice, she felt that true religion was the direct 
outcome of the working of the Spirit, and not de- 
pendent on the influence of this or that church or 
chapel. She ardently desired the spread of the king- 
dom of Christ Jesus in the world, but was not herself 
concerned to advocate any special rites or dogmas. 
She loved humanity, and eagerly welcomed and in- 
vestigated all evidences of its wonderful and splendid 
possibilities, and she was inimical to any systems 


which restricted the free entrance and expansion of the 
Eternal Spirit of Life. 

In writing Mrs. Bishop's biography, I have been 
greatly indebted for information to her relatives and 
friends. Among the former I should like especially 
to name Miss Merttins Bird. 

The friends who have helped me are too many for 
detailed mention, but Lady Middleton, Mrs. Blackie, 
Miss Cullen (who so soon followed her friend and 
whose welcome of this volume I sadly miss), Mrs. 
Bickersteth, Mrs. Allan, Mrs. Macdonald, the Bishop of 
London, Sir Walter Hillier, Mr. Dunlop, Dr. Neve, the 
Rev. W. G. Walshe, and the Rev. L. B. Cholmondeley, 
have all contributed so greatly to the contents of this 
book that I cannot refrain from recording my sincere 
acknowledgment of their assistance. 

To Miss E. M. C. Ker very special thanks are 
due for constant help, explanation, correction, ma- 
terials, and for the originals of a large number of the 

And it is difficult to express adequately my great 
indebtedness to Mr. Murray and Mr. Hallam Murray 
for their deep interest in the book, for their en- 
couraging and scrutinising criticism, for their personal 
help in revision and reconstruction, and for the use of 
many letters which have been the basis, not only of 
nearly all that is said about Mrs. Bishop's published 
books, but of many most interesting passages in this 
record of her life. 


August, 1906. 







V. THE WIDE EAST . . . . . . .100 


ONE") 122 


VIII. LOSS . . 167 









INDEX 398 



MRS. BISHOP Frontispiece 

From a photograph taken by Messrs. Elliott fir 5 Fry (Photogravure}. 



From a miniature. 



From a photograph. 

TAP LOW HILL, TAKEN BEFORE 1869 . . . . 14 

From a photograph. 


From a photograph. 


From a picture by Richard Buckner, engraved by William 
Walker, 1854. 


From a miniature. 


From a photograph. 


From a photograph by /. Moffat, Edinburgh. 


From a photograph. 


From a photograph by Miss Alison Barbour 



From a photograph by J. Mo/at (Photogravure). 




From a sketch by herself. 


From a photograph by Miss Alison Barbour. 


BAKHTIARI LURS ......... 228 





From a photograph by Lyd Sawyer. 

From a photograph by Mrs. Bishop. 


From a photograph by Mrs. Bishop. 


From a photograph by Mrs. Bishop. 


From a photograph by Mrs. Bishop. 




From a photograph by Mrs. Bishop. 


From a photograph by Mrs. Bishop. 


From a photograph by Mrs. Bishop. 


THE MITAN GORGE Facing p. 312 

From a photograph by Mrs. Bishop. 

THE TALU . , 316 

From a photograph by Mrs. Bishop. 


From a photograph by Mrs. Bishop. 


From a photograph by Mrs. Bishop. 


From a photograph by Mrs. Bishop. 


From a pfiotograph by Mrs. Bishop. 



Specimen of one of Mrs. Bishop' s Chinese photographs. 


From a photograph by Mrs. Bishop. 





the End 





THE Birds, a widespread clan of the upper middle 
class, almost defy tabulation into branches and 
families: their genealogists are so embarrassed by 
the results of constant intermarriage, amongst cousins 
of far and near degree, that the most valiant efforts 
are marred by confusion and blunders. It must 
suffice, therefore, to supply some simple details of 
Mrs. Bishop's immediate descent and relationships. 
These relationships have so direct a bearing upon 
her own great inheritance of character mental, 
moral, and spiritual that we may be pardoned for 
making a short digression into the maze of collateral 
families doubly and trebly allied to each other. 

Of the clan generally little need be told, except 
its descent from William Bird, who lived in the 
latter part of the seventeenth and the early part of 
the eighteenth century. He died in 1731, bequeath- 
ing Barton, in Warwickshire, to his eldest son, 
Thomas Bird. His second son, John, was for 
a time in London, where he became an alderman, 
and, after marrying Judith Wilberforce, retired to 
Kenilworth, where he died and was buried in 1772. 
His wife, who survived him many years, was in 
due time laid by his side. 



Of these Kenilworth Birds, two daughters, Hannah 
and Lucy, especially claim our attention. Hannah, 
the elder, married, in 1779, the Rev. Robert Sumner, 
Vicar of Kenilworth, whom she survived forty- 
four years, living to see her eldest son, John 
Bird Sumner, made Bishop of Chester, a see from 
which he rose to the Primacy of the Church of 
England ; while her second son, Charles Richard 
Sumner, was first made Bishop of Llandaff, and was 
then transferred to the see of Winchester. 

Hannah Bird's sister Lucy married her cousin, 
Robert Bird, of Barton, and was Mrs. Bishop's 

This Robert Bird was Thomas Bird's grandson, 
a second son, and obliged to make his way in the 
world without expectation of inheriting Barton 
House. In this he prospered, seeking and finding 
fortune in India first, and then in America, for 
he had both spirit and ability, inherited perhaps 
from his maternal grandfather, Sir George Merttins, 
sometime Lord Mayor of London, whose memorial 
slab, with his shield as governor and treasurer of 
Christ's Hospital, has quite recently been removed 
to Horsham. 

When Robert's elder brother, Henry, died without 
children, he succeeded to the property in Warwick- 
shire. But by this time he was married and the 
father of ten children four sons and six daughters. 
Barton was remote, and Mr. Bird felt disinclined to 
live out of touch with the world, so he let the place 
for a long term of years, and rented Taplow Hill, 
in Berkshire, where he and his family became so 
thoroughly at home that the county claimed them 
as Birds of Taplow, ignoring the fact that they were 
merely its tenants. 



He was properly Robert Bird of Barton, in War- 
wickshire, and the old gabled manor-house was 
worthy of greater attachment from its owner, though 
we can understand his seeking a more advantageous 
centre as home for his sons and daughters. Later 
on in our story Barton will interest us as the house 
from which Isabella Bird was married, and we 
linger a moment ere we follow her grandfather to 
Berkshire. It is greatly altered now to suit modern 
requirements, but in 1881 it remained much as it 
had ever been, and, with the village on the heath 
and its ancient church, looked more like a bit of 
Queen Elizabeth's than of Queen Victoria's England. 
The little church of St. Lawrence, with Norman 
tower and antique inconvenience, takes us farther 
back still, to days when the broad lands of War- 
wickshire harboured only churls enough to serve 
their lord's manor, and parish laws took no account 
of the future and increasing rural congregations. 

But the squire of Barton on his final return from 
America settled at Taplow Hill. His wife was a 
daughter of Judith Wilberforce, and brought her 
mother's strenuous racial strain into the home 
atmosphere and into her children's character and 
rearing. She was doubly connected with the Wilber- 
forces, for her aunt, Elizabeth Bird, of Kenilworth, 
married Judith's uncle, Robert Wilberforce, of Hull : 
these two were parents of the great liberator, William 
Wilberforce. The young people at Taplow Hill were 
twice over Wilberforce's cousins, and in his youth 
and middle-age he was a constant guest there, 
honoured by all, and especially after his death by 
the lingering maiden ladies, who treasured as 
mementoes of their great kinsman lines inscribed 
by him on the blank leaves of their Bibles. 


How forcibly this impassioned strain was to direct 
and govern Edward Bird, the third son of Robert 
and Lucy Bird, remains to be told ; but it is im- 
possible to overestimate its influence both in his and 
his daughter's character. From her great-grand- 
mother, grandmother, and father Isabella. received the 
priceless inheritance of a soul-hunger and thirst for 
righteousness, which in her later years was to 
dominate all that she observed, to vitalise all her 
convictions, and to culminate in her memorable 
appeals to Christian England to send out into all 
the Christless world and bring its unhappy millions 
to the Saviour. 

The Taplow sons and daughters were Robert 
Merttins Bird, sent early to India, a happy-hunting- 
ground for lads in the days of the East India 
Company ; Henry, who went into the navy ; Lucy, 
who married the Rev. Marmaduke Thompson ; Mary, 
who followed her eldest brother to India, and when 
he married devoted herself to missionary work and 
died in harness there; Edward, who was first a 
barrister and then a clergyman; Elizabeth, who 
married Mr. Harrington Evans ; Henrietta, who 
had strong views on infant baptism and renounced 
on their behalf her clerical lover, at the sacrifice of 
her life ; Rebecca and Catherine, who never married ; 
and George Merttins the youngest, born in America, 
who followed his eldest brother to India, where 
both married daughters of the Rev. David Brown, 
one of the " five great chaplains," and a colleague of 
Henry Martyn. 

These two Taplow sons entered the service of the 
East India Company, but the younger died in early 
manhood, his widow bringing two little ones to Taplow 
Hill, and living there till old Mr. Bird's death. 

i792-i8i2] EDWARD BIRD 5 

It is with the third son, Edward Bird, that we 
have especially to do, and of his career we have clear 
although scanty information in a memorial sketch 
written by his daughter in 1858, immediately after 
his death, and printed for private circulation. It 
contains only thirty-five short pages, and deals almost 
wholly with his clerical and public rather than with his 
private life. But a few facts may be gathered from 
it and interwoven with reminiscences supplied by 
his niece, Miss Merttins Bird. 

He was born in 1792, and must have been a lad 
with two brothers and three sisters older than himself 
when the family roof-tree was set up at Taplow early 
in the last century. His father destined him, like 
his elder sons, for India, and sent him to Cambridge 
for thorough equipment. He was entered at 
Magdalene, where he graduated. In the meantime, 
his sister Elizabeth married the Rev. J. Harrington 
Evans, a young clergyman of the strongest evangelical 
type. Edward Bird was about twenty years old when 
it was proposed that he should read the Bible 
with his brother-in-law during vacation time. He 
did so in a perfunctory manner, indifferent at that 
time to its message. Mr. Evans was discouraged 
and suggested that readings so little valued should 
cease. This startled his pupil and brought him to 
anxious self-questioning. He became conscious of 
his own levity, went home in distress and prayed 
that God would pardon him and vouchsafe to 
him every blessing which the Bible can confer. 
From that day he read anxiously and earnestly, 
but it was not until he heard Mr. Evans preach 
on the text " Without Me ye can do nothing," 
that he fully understood his deep need of Christ 
Himself. It was a new man in Christ that returned 


to Magdalene, eager to serve Him whom now he 

When he had graduated he went to London, 
studied law with Sir George Stephen, and was called 
to the bar at Lincoln's Inn. This was in pursuance 
of his father's plan for him, as a legal training led 
to judicial appointments and promotion in India. 
Thither therefore he sailed with his young wife, 
Emma Burt, in 1825, and settled down to practise 
as a barrister of the Supreme Court in Calcutta. 
But a great sorrow befell him the following year, 
when his wife died of cholera and left him comfort- 
less but for her babe, a boy called Edward after 
himself, who was stricken with fatal fever three 
years later. This double blow shattered his health, 
and he was compelled to relinquish his practice and 
return to England in 1829. 

The home nursing gradually restored his natural 
vigour, but he found himself averse to resuming 
his life at the point of rupture. Calcutta's worldli- 
ness, rapacity, and vice had appalled him, and 
during his brief stay he had maintained an attitude 
of uncompromising opposition to its callous un- 
righteousness. To return was very distasteful to 
him. Besides, grief, loss, and illness had weakened 
his anxiety about preferment and distinction. Within 
his heart had awakened a new yearning, a new 
necessity, and it had matured in the darkness of his 
night of sorrow. He longed to preach the gospel, 
and to gather in souls for Christ souls for whom 
the world was ever on the watch to tarnish them 
and set its mark upon them. 

He was thirty-eight years old when he took Holy 
Orders set upon doing in half a lifetime a whole 
span of work in God's vineyard. His first curacy 

1830] THE LAWSONS 7 

was at Boroughbridge in Yorkshire. At Borough- 
bridge Hall lived the widow and family of the Rev. 
Marmaduke Lawson. Mrs. Lawson had inherited 
the house and grounds at her uncle's death in 1805. 
The Hall is mainly a fine old Elizabethan structure, 
gabled and pointed, to which a pillared porch and 
large bay-windows were added in 1836. Mr. Lawson 
had been a prebendary of Ripon Cathedral, an able 
but exceedingly reserved man. His children inherited 
both characteristics. In the year before his father's 
death, the eldest, also Marmaduke, won the first 
Pitt scholarship at Cambridge; and when news of 
this success reached the old gentleman he said drily, 
" Barbara would have done better." But Marmaduke 
took the Chancellor's medal also, and both he and 
his brother Andrew proved themselves to be honour- 
able and useful men, members too of the House of 
Commons, for which the more brilliant Barbara was 
unhappily disqualified. Mr. Andrew Lawson lived 
in the neighbouring manor of Aldborough, and 
possessed a most interesting collection of pre-Roman 
and Roman antiquities, for Aldborough was the 
ancient capital of the Brigantes, and became a 
favourite Brito-Roman residence with its captors. 
He built and endowed a district parish church. He 
also had distinguished himself both at Shrewsbury, 
under Dr. Butler, and at Merton College, Oxford, and 
was twice returned to Parliament as Conservative 
member for Knaresborough. He outlived his brother 
Marmaduke thirty years. 

Their sisters were highly educated up to the 
measure of that day ; and when Mr. Bird arrived as 
curate at Boroughbridge, he found at once congenial 
friends in Mrs. Lawson and her family. This friend- 
ship ripened to affection in the case of Dora Lawson, 


the second daughter, and they were married in 1830. 
Dora Lawson's favourite occupation for some years 
had been Sunday-school work. There was none at 
Boroughbridge, so she paid for a room in the village 
out of her own pocket-money, and taught five classes 
there every Sunday, from young women down to 
little children. She was a fitting companion in all 
respects a woman whose tact, dignity, and kindness 
never failed, although great reserve of manner some- 
times hid the true warmth of her nature. 

Isabella Lucy, called after her two grandmothers, 
was born at Boroughbridge Hall on October 15, 1831. 

Early next year Mr. Bird went as curate to Maiden- 
head in Berkshire, where two years of extraordinary 
activity awaited him. The spirit which animated him 
was felt from the beginning, and he not only filled 
the church at all ordinary services, but was obliged 
to hold many extra meetings and to receive in his 
study, daily, many anxious inquirers of every class. 
A troop of the Life Guards stationed at Maidenhead 
came under his influence, and some of the men came 
to him for spiritual help and guidance. It was a time 
of rapid sowing, reaping, and harvesting, very rare 
in one man's experience, and he was filled with 
joy and gratitude. But his physical strength was 
not equal to the strain, and, although he recognised 
that God had set His seal upon the life dedicated to 
Him, his enfeebled constitution compelled him to 
abandon his work at Maidenhead, and his cousin, 
Dr. Bird Sumner, Bishop of Chester, presented him 
with the quiet living of Tattenhall, in Cheshire. 

Thither he removed with his wife and little girl 
in 1834, and in this restful sphere he remained for 
eight years. A baby boy, called Edward, had been 
born, and died at Maidenhead in 1833. Soon after 


his arrival his third child was born, a little girl, 
to whom was given her aunt Henrietta's name. 
Here, in the midst of beautiful scenery, amongst 
the sweet influences of garden and pasture, these 
little ones spent their early childhood. The country 
round consisted of large tracts of grazing-lands 
where the farmers were engaged in cheese-making. 

Chester was seven miles distant, but three miles 
of the road were paved, and it was not pleasant for 
either walking, driving, or riding. Nevertheless, 
Isabella was both walking and riding upon it when 
she was little more than four years old. Her tiny 
body was fragile, her face white, and on her lips was 
the constant cry, " I very tired." Her parents kept 
her out of doors as much as possible, and the doctor 
suggested that Mr. Bird should take her on a cushion 
before him when he rode round his parish. So she 
learned to ride almost in infancy, and was promoted 
a year or two later to her own horse, for her father 
rode one and she the other of the carriage-pair. 

To those outings she owed far more than her 
life-long familiarity with the art of riding, although 
that was no small gain for one who was afterwards 
to mount, as necessity urged, ox, horse, mule, 
or yak in distant lands. As a child her riding- 
habit was her usual dress a smocked frock, little 
finer than a carter's. As they rode, Mr. Bird 
would draw her attention to every feature of the 
wayside to the fields far and near, in grass, or 
crops, or fallow, to the farm-houses, their dairies 
and press-houses, telling her the uses of all and 
each, questioning her minutely as to what she saw. 
Long after, a friend asked her to what she traced 
her habit of accurate observation. " To my father's 
conversational questioning upon everything," she 


answered. " If we rode, he made me tell him about 
the crops in such-and-such fields whether a water- 
wheel were under-shot, or over-shot, how each gate 
we passed through was hung, about animals seen 
and parishioners met." And so she learned to 
measure distance and space with her eye, to note 
each season's signs and labours, to look for changes 
in the crops and to know their purpose. 

And as her father knew every wayside and meadow 
flower, she learned their names, habits, and uses, 
and felt for them an almost passionate love, which 
she retained to the end of her life. Even when 
human sympathy hardly consoled her, flowers would 
reach her sorrow and their sweet solace would 
recall her to fortitude. 

An incident out of the meagre annals of those 
years at Tattenhall recurs to the memory as it was 
told in after years by herself. One Sunday morning 
she was left alone in the house and in bed. Her 
mother, thinking her scarcely well enough to go to 
church, had wrapped her up and bidden her rest till 
she returned. Isabella was not more than five years 
old, but a little scheme had been forming in her 
active mind for some days, and she felt this solitude 
to be her opportunity. Out on the lawn was a round 
bed of ranunculuses, crimson and golden and glorious, 
which she longed to visit. It was forbidden, for 
the weather had been rainy and the grass was 
damp. But she stole out of her wrappings and 
pattered downstairs with shoeless feet to the 
drawing-room window, which opened down to the 
ground. Out she darted straight to the flower-bed, 
and walking round and round, counting the bright 
blossoms, touching them and kissing them, she filled 
her whole being with the joy of them, and flitted 

,8 3 6] CHILDHOOD ii 

back to bed. She said no word about her escapade, 
but cherished its memory awhile and then forgot it 
for a score of years. 

To this time too belongs one of those thrilling 
episodes which give to children their first awe- 
stricken but rapt experience of the mystery of 

Near Tattenhall rises a hill known as Rawhead, 
a name of itself sufficient to fill a child's imagination 
with strange terrors. This hill was full of caves, in 
which dwelt a gang of outcasts whose doings grew 
notorious. Robbery followed robbery in the neigh- 
bourhood. The caves were searched on suspicion, 
but nothing was found to warrant arrest. The 
burglaries continued and the matter grew serious. 
At length one midnight some one passing the 
churchyard saw lights and heard voices, and forth- 
with proclaimed that it was haunted. No one would 
go near it, until the magistrates decided to make a 
midnight raid with armed constables, and to see 
what manner of ghosts disturbed its peace. They 
found the Rawhead gang busy hiding booty in a 
grave, the slab of which they had raised. An old woman 
whose cottage was close to the churchyard proved to 
be in collusion with the burglars and had assisted 
them to choose their storehouse. All were arrested 
and transported. But Isabella never forgot how 
her nurse took her to see the unearthing of silver- 
plate and jewellery from that grim hiding-place, and 
how, trembling, rather with eagerness than fear, she 
and a little playfellow watched the whole process 
hand-in-hand, from the lifting of the slab to the 
recovery of the last teaspoon. 

Fear, indeed, she hardly knew, and her fearlessness 
was disconcerting at times, when she played the 


role of enfant terrible, flashing out the pithy sarcasm 
which in youth came so readily to her lips. 

She was not more than six years old when 
as Miss Grainger Stewart told us in Blackwood's 
Magazine, a few weeks after her death she sat 
listening to a gentleman who was canvassing 
Tattenhall in his own interest, and who excited her 
distrust by his too obviously expressed admiration 
of the lovely little Henrietta. She marched up to 
him and asked in clear incisive tones : " Sir Malpas 
de Grey Tatton Egerton, did you tell my father my 
sister was so pretty because you wanted his vote ? " 

This power of expressing herself was remarkable 
from her earliest years. Her parents treated her with 
wise observation and noted her quick mental growth, 
indicating rich and varied endowment. Her brain 
was never stunted by rebuff, nor stultified by 
baby language. They took ample care that her 
lessons should not be overstimulating ; and as Mrs. 
Bird taught her children herself, her judgment meted 
out the length and quality of what they learned. 
To be in the open air, to be with her parents, to 
understand therefore almost unconsciously the con- 
ditions of life and human intercourse, the arts too 
of speaking, reading, and writing; to absorb from 
father and mother opinions, standards, tastes, and 
distastes these were her early education in the 
truest sense. Recalling that time, she once said : 
" No one can teach now as my mother taught ; it 
was all so wonderfully interesting that we sat spell- 
bound when she explained things to us. We should 
never have liked an ordinary teacher." 

It was not possible, however, to stay her from 
reading when she had once found the key to all 
knowledge stored in books. One day she was lost, 

i8 3 8] EDUCATION 13 

and the mid-day meal was cooling on the table 
while mother and maids sought her high and low. 
At last, in order that no possible hiding-place might be 
overlooked, they looked into the stable, and there in 
the manger they found her poring over a heavy volume, 
which proved to be Alison's French Revolution, more 
fascinating to the seven-year-old student than all the 
moral tales of Maria Edgeworth and her like. 
Isabella Bird wanted no books for children ; from 
the beginning her mind fastened on the actual and 
grew robust on the strongest food, her vigorous 
imagination finding scope, and to spare, in real events, 
whether past or present, and preferring the miracles 
of Moses, and the wilderness-march of his people, 
to all the sentimental and educational feigning of 
that day. 

Then there was one delightful annual visit which 
made a deep impression upon her character and 
multiplied her standards. This was the holiday at 
Taplow Hill with the grandparents and maiden aunts. 
They all went together and spent about a month, in 
the summer-time, when the gardens looked their best. 

The old people were still alive, although the Squire 
was nearing eighty, and Mrs. Robert Bird was but 
four years younger. Their long life together was 
approaching its end, for the grandfather died in 
1842, when Isabella was eleven years old, and the 
grandmother was solitary for six surviving years. 
But while Mr. Bird was Rector of Tattenhall both 
were alive, dignified and hospitable. Taplow not 
only sheltered all the Indian grandchildren, but the 
bereaved children of the house as well. It is from 
Miss Merttins Bird, " the last Taplow grandchild," 
that we gather details of her childhood's home, and 
are therefore enabled to realise the happy summer 


days which helped to mould Isabella's manners, 
her sense of the fitting, perhaps to accentuate her 
reserve and to develop her individuality. The house 
is now altered out of knowledge, but it was always 
large and roomy, with stables, paddocks, gardens, 
and ample space attached. Long walks, planted with 
shrubs and fruit-trees, ran on either side of a great 
field, and these began and ended in summer-houses. 
Beyond the field were palings which separated the 
grounds of Taplow Hill from the adjoining Rectory 
gardens. Two generations of Birds have played 
as children beneath the old mulberry-tree, on the 
lawn or round about the borders, full of all old- 
fashioned garden glories, every one of which Isabella 
remembered all her life. A sunk fence separated 
garden from paddocks, and along it thyme, yarrow, 
and bedstraw made a bank of purple and gold in 

Within, the drawing-room was wide-bayed and 
furnished with satin-wood, inlaid with borders of white 
roses on tables and chairs, whose spindle-legs vouched 
for their period. There, in the evenings, old and 
young would assemble to listen to reading aloud 
or unite in singing " The Pilgrim Fathers," " The 
Curfew Bell," " The Captive Knight," or some sweet 
melody by Balfe or Bishop. 

Now and again some guest would engross his 
hearers by tales in condemnation of slavery or on 
behalf of missions. 

The Taplow grandchildren breathed the atmo- 
sphere of "Causes," and were in contact with their 
leaders during all the second quarter of last century. 
What used to be called the "Clapham Sect" knew 
Taplow Hill well. Old Mrs. Bird's close kinship with 
William Wilberforce, a kinship moral as well as 

i84o] TAPLOW HILL 15 

racial, determined the strictly evangelical tone of 
her household. 

Family prayers began the morning. All servants, 
outdoor as well as indoor, were summoned, and sat in 
line to hear the Squire read the lessons and a prayer 
for the day out of Thornton's Family Prayers. Then 
the old gentleman rose up and bowed to men and 
maids, as they filed out past him with curtseys and 
salutes. Breakfast followed, when letters were read 
aloud, for postage was a consideration then, and 
letters were framed with decorum for general reading 
those from India exciting special interest. The 
ladies of the family took no sugar in their tea, and 
felt the sacrifice to be a sacred protest against 
slave-grown products. Oddly enough, although they 
daily mourned its absence, they took sugarless tea 
long after the emancipation in the West Indies. 

The maiden aunts were short-sighted, and wore 
spectacles, which gave them an expression of stern- 
ness quite foreign to their natures. Still, on certain 
points they were stern enough, and the only 
drawback to Isabella's perfect enjoyment of Taplow 
Hill was that she was never allowed to sit down during 
the long Sunday services, but in pain and weariness 
had to endure, standing to the end. This was 
especially irksome to her, as it was in her early 
childhood that the trouble which dogged her whole 
suffering life was developed; and had her courage 
not risen above it she might have delivered herself 
over to confirmed ill-health and adorned a sofa all 
her days. But, even as a child, her brave spirit 
scorned prolonged concession to this delicacy. Every 
one rode at Taplow, and Isabella bettered her home 
lessons upon Shag and Camilla. She raced and 
rode with her cousins, and, though younger than 


some of them, was recognised amongst them all as 
a superior, whose opinions on religious, social, and 
even political subjects were to be courted and 

Her little sister Henrietta was shyer and less 
spirited, although her health was more equable and 
her mental advance almost as rapid as Isabella's. 
She was very winning and gentle ; always happy 
with a book and with her mother; a little reserved, 
and less inclined for boisterous comradeship. But 
she, too, could ride and run and read and dream. 
More drawn by the spiritual world than was Isabella 
then, her thoughts were wont to dwell there in a 
kind of rapt reverie. A cousin, Henrietta Bird, from 
whom we have quoted largely in these details about 
Taplow, lived there ; and to distinguish one from the 
other, Isabella's sister was called Hennie, and was 
always known by that abbreviation. 

The little girls were respectively eleven and eight 
when they were taken away from Tattenhall and 
set down in Birmingham. More than one reason 
made this change advisable. Isabella was stronger, 
Mr. Bird was anxious for a more arduous sphere 
of labour, and some discontent had arisen at his 
warm championship of Sabbath observance in the 
cheese-making districts round Tattenhall. 

A great sorrow fell upon them all in 1842, in the 
death of their beloved father and grandfather. He had 
lived eighty-two years, and had received the last 
desire of his heart in the return of his eldest son 
Robert Merttins Bird. When the successful Anglo- 
Indian stood by his bedside, his father looked at him 
and whispered : "What was it the old man Simeon 
said? Nunc dimittis, was it not?" And soon after 
he passed away. 

i8 4 2] BIRMINGHAM 17 

The church at Tattenhall had grown discouragingly 
empty, in consequence of Mr. Bird's fearless protests 
against Sunday labour. Nearly as much work was 
done on Sundays as on week-days not in the open 
fields, but in the dairies and presses. It is difficult 
to understand the question in all its bearings, for it 
is obvious that cows must be milked on Sundays. 
Doubtless Mr. Bird did not oppose the necessary 
work, but only the increase of unnecessary work in 
the manufacture of dairy produce on Sundays which 
had crept in, and which to him was a manifest breach 
of a divine law, declared by God Himself to be the 
test of national righteousness and the condition of 
national prosperity. Mr. Bird's point of view was 
the law of the living God; but he was powerless 
against the bidding of Mammon, and the convicted 
farmers left a church where there was no comfortable 
doctrine for their case. 

How sad a leave-taking it must have been is borne 
in upon us when we note the beauty and peace of 
Tattenhall, and then visit the parish of St. Thomas's 
in Birmingham. The Bishop, too, disapproved of his 
transfer ; and had Mr. Bird not found absolute trust in 
his decision within his own family, the step might 
have been still harder to take. Those faithful to him 
at Tattenhall felt the parting bitterly, and for many 
years there lived in the parish godly men and women 
whom he had brought to Christ, and who were 
known as "Bird's saints." 

St. Thomas's in Birmingham is a large, gloomy 
church, built in the worst possible taste, that pseudo- 
classical style, pretentious and dismal, which Georgian 
architects affected. It contrasted painfully with sunny 
St. Alban's at Tattenhall, where the light fell through 
ancient stained glass, and five cheerful bells called the 



parishioners to worship. St. Thomas's had been 
planned to seat over two thousand people, but a 
few hundred formed the congregation in 1843, and 
these were always shifting. 

The city was then heaving with the last throes 
of Chartism, and four years earlier the rioters had 
made a pause at St. Thomas's to pull up the railing 
and arm themselves with its iron spikes, on their 
march to wreck Lucy's Mills. The hands were still 
sullen, the employers were hard. Sunday labour was 
more than permitted. Success was the one standard 
in Birmingham. It mattered little of what intrinsic 
quality of righteousness, or the reverse, a man's aims 
might be public opinion applauded, or blamed their 
issue according to their success or failure. 

The Birds found a house in Frederick's Road, with 
a garden attached, which employed the old Tattenhall 
gardener, who came with them. It had some apple- 
trees big enough to give seats and shelter to the little 
girls, who used to climb into them and con their 
lessons hidden amongst the leaves. 

Mr. Bird began eagerly to organise his work the 
parish visiting, the Sunday school, the preaching. 
It was a heavy task. The parish contained a popu- 
lation of 16,000, and the church was almost empty. 
Then, stronger in Birmingham than in the grazing- 
lands of Cheshire, Mammon swayed men's souls. 
His parish was given over to Sunday trading, and 
the fight he had to wage on the Lord's side was 
with a very Apollyon. 

At first his preaching produced the strong, 
arresting, and attracting influence which it had done 
at Maidenhead. Men came from all parts of the city 
to hear the new Rector, amongst them many working- 
men, who, of all others there, needed most the help of 

1843] "ST. THOMAS DAYS" 19 

God and of His servants, since help from Mammon 
there was none. These he received on Sunday after- 
noons, visiting their wives and homes through the 
week, spending and being spent for the poor. He 
had fellow-workers amongst the Nonconformists, with 
some of whom, and notably with Mr. Angell James, 
he formed cherished friendships. Indeed, Mr. Angell 
James and he together organised the midland division 
of the Evangelical Alliance. 

For the Sunday-school staff he selected his best 
and most willing members, one of whom is still alive 
in Birmingham. It is to Miss Sanders, a sweet old 
lady y whose joy it is to recall those happy years of 
service for Christ, that we are indebted for most 
of these recollections of St. Thomas's. Only she and 
another are alive now to remember Mr. Bird. 
Young as Isabella was, she was pressed into the 
service. Miss Sanders remembers her teaching a 
class of girls as old as herself, and not only winning 
their attention, but their devotion. It did not occur 
to them that their teacher was too young, for her self- 
possession, mastery of language, and clear exposition 
gave her the needed command. It is most interesting, 
in this connection, to quote from a letter written by 
Mrs. Bishop to Miss Sanders at Christmas, 1903, less 
than a year before she died. 

You are one of the very few survivals of the vividly 
remembered St. Thomas days. How well I remem- 
ber you and your adult class in the corner below the 
desk and the high opinion which papa and mama had 
of you. Now, of my family, I, a widow, alone am left. 

But she rendered the church a further service. 
Her ear was not musical, nor did she greatly 
care for music, but she was being taught to sing 


and play, and she passed on her lessons to the 
young people, forming and training the choir, 
and going through the practising with them every 
week, with unfailing punctuality. She suffered at 
this time from abscesses in the feet and had often to 
walk to and from the church in great pain, but she 
rarely failed either her Sunday-school pupils or 
the choir. Henrietta was not yet enrolled on the 
teaching staff, but after a couple of years she was 
entrusted with some of the little ones, whom she 
taught with great seriousnsss and sweetness. 

Miss Sanders remembers Isabella's calling on her 
in the midst of a terrific thunder-storm, on some 
Sunday-school business, not to take shelter, as 
she at first supposed. Often the elder girl spent 
a day and sometimes several days with the Birds, 
and she retains the sunniest impression of their 
kindness, gentleness, and courtesy towards her and 
each other. 

For some time Mr. Bird had visions of success 
in his struggle against Sunday trading. By preaching, 
by personal visiting, by gentle and constant per- 
suasion, he got, so far as to secure the promises of 
all his parishioners but two to give it up. The 
promises were conditional on the surrender of the 
two exceptions. It was evident to all that his own 
character and conduct were not only blameless, 
but absolutely disinterested, for it was well known 
that he had requested to be transferred to St. Thomas's 
where the annual stipend amounted to 60, from 
Tattenhall where he received 300. Indeed, had 
he and Mrs. Bird not both inherited money from 
their parents, the transfer would have been impossible. 
But the two remaining Sunday traders refused to 
close their shops, and the law was brought to bear 

i8 4 8] FIRST PAMPHLET 21 

upon them through one of the Churchwardens, who 
took out summonses and served them himself. This 
roused fierce wrath in the parish. A crowd waylaid 
Mr. Bird and pelted him with stones, mud, and 
insults. The worst was still to come. Not only 
did he lose hold of those who had been almost won, 
but many of the members whom he counted as on the 
side of righteousness, at the bidding of Mammon, 
forsook their Rector and left the church. The 
bitterness of the repulse lay in the fact that the 
very men and women whom he had led to his 
Master forsook him at the crisis. 

Some time before this great trial, he caught scarlet 
fever, while visiting, and brought home its infection, 
for Hennie took it too ; and while Mrs. Bird nursed 
her husband in one room, Isabella nursed her sister 
in another and yet escaped the fever. So, already 
weakened by illness, the pain of these desertions 
broke down his brave resolution and he was laid 
again on a bed of sickness. This illness lasted so 
long that the doctor urged him at last to take some 
months of complete rest, and Mrs. Bird succeeded in 
inducing him to resign his charge at St. Thomas's. 

In 1848 they left for Eastbourne, then a village 
about a mile inland. But close to the sea there 
were a few houses, in one of which they lodged for 
a time. 

Isabella was sixteen years old at this time, 
and so matured was her mind already that she 
took a deep interest in the questions of Free Trade 
versus Protection, which at that time, as in a minor 
degree now, agitated the country, and before leaving 
Birmingham she committed to writing her arguments 
in favour of Protection. Next year this essay was 
printed for private circulation in Huntingdon, and a 


copy of the little pamphlet has come into my hands. 
It is a quaint invective against Cobden and Bright, 
and is remarkable as coming from the pen of a 
child : it takes the allegorical form of a trial before 
" Chief Justice Common Sense, Baron Public Opinion, 
and a special jury," in which the prisoners Weather- 
cock and Parvenu were defended by Mr. Humbug 
and Mr. Mock-Philanthropist, while Messrs. Upright 
and Eloquence appeared for the prosecution. The 
charges were on four counts agitation, dissemination 
of poison, uttering lies and false promises, and 
destroying the agricultural interest and with it the 
national prosperity of England ; and the prisoners, 
being eventually found guilty, were condemned to 
be removed to the penal settlement of Public Detesta- 
tion for fifteen years, and afterwards to be transported 
to the uninhabited island of Oblivion for the term 
of their natural lives ! " And," concluded the Judge, 
"I earnestly hope that in the solitude which 
will be afforded you, you may learn to repent 
of your crimes, though you cannot repair the 
consequences which they have entailed upon your 

After two months at Eastbourne, the Birds settled 
for a further term of rest in the country north of 
London and close to Epping Forest. Here Miss 
Sanders paid them a visit, which she still vividly 
remembers. They were mourning the death of their 
grandmother at Taplow Hill, an event which practi- 
cally ended their connection with that beloved home. 
For Mr. Merttins Bird, of Barton, whose first wife 
died in India, and whose second wife, Jane Wilber- 
force Bird, passed away shortly after marriage, took 
as his third wife Henrietta Grenfell, a daughter of 
his neighbour Mr. Pascoe Grenfell of Taplow House. 

1848] WYTON 23 

She not only survived him, but lived on till 1897, a 
shrewd and witty old lady, interested in the gener- 
ations of Birds, to whom she was step-mother, step- 
grandmother and step-greatgrandmother. From 
the time of his third marriage, Mr. Merttins Bird 
gave up Taplow Hill, and the family removed to 
Torquay. It is interesting to note that amongst her 
brothers-in-law Mrs. Merttins Bird counted Charles 
Kingsley, J. Anthony Froude, and Lord Wolverton, 
and that one of her nieces married Professor Max 

While Miss Sanders was with Mr. and Mrs. Bird 
at Epping Forest, Mr. Merttins Bird came to pay 
them a visit, and she records her own shyness of 
the "big Bird," who proved to be both kind and 
peaceable, distinguished nabob though he was. 

In the autumn of 1848 Lady Olivia Sparrow 
presented Mr. Bird to the living of Wyton in 

This was a small parish, less than two thousand 
acres in extent, with a population of scarcely three 
hundred souls. The village is on the Ouse, and 
to the west some three miles off is the town of 
Huntingdon. South-east lies St. Ives, two miles 
away. Not very far off is Olney, the poet Cowper's 
home. There were rides and drives for Mr. Bird 
and his daughters, and the river on which to boat, 
and there Mrs. Bishop acquired her skill in rowing. 
The cure included Houghton, and the stipend was 
good. Wyton itself had its literary and political 
associations. Home Tooke lived there for years, and 
towards the close of the foregoing century Charles 
James Fox had been married at St. Margaret's 
Church, which now became the centre of Mr. Bird's 
duties for the remaining decade of his life. 


These years were to be eventful for Isabella, in 
many ways. It was at Wyton that a new influence 
roused her to the sense that she was growing old 
enough to be morally responsible for what use she 
made of her time, her powers, her character. This 
was her friendship with a girl of her own age, Lady 
Jane Hay, now Lady Jane Taylor, a daughter of the 
Marquess of Tweeddale and a niece of Lady Olivia 

Isabella's duties had hitherto been based on the 
exigencies of home and parochial life, and in spite 
of her great delicacy she had risen to their fulfilment. 
She had not yet realised that even a girl may so 
swa}' circumstances as to improve them, may garner 
her observations as seed to be sown in the good 
ground of effort to help the destinies of a larger 
humanity than that within the parish. 

This friendship aroused that part of her higher 
nature which had slumbered in inexperience. It 
called into being the enthusiasm for others latent 
in her Wilberforce blood. This never afterwards 
failed her in dealing with the men and women she 
met, whether they were friends, or merely the casual 
acquaintances of a journey by land or water, whether 
they were her own people among whom she dwelt, 
or the peoples, civilised and savage, amongst whom 
she sojourned for a day or a week, ere she left 
their cities or their tents for ever. On her death- 
bed she cried aloud, " If I could only do something 
more for them ! " 

But in 1850, when she was eighteen years old, 
her malady had become so serious that an opera- 
tion was necessary. Just before this took place, 
her parents took her and Henrietta to visit the 
Rev. John Lawson, Mrs. Bird's brother, at Seaton 


Carew, and her cousins still remember how ill she 
looked. Of the operation itself no record remains, 
beyond the fact that a fibrous tumour was removed 
from the neighbourhood of the spine. In after 
years she was subject to long periods of suffering 
in that region of her back. 

It is possible that the low grounds of Wyton, and 
the river with its overflows and mists, may have 
accelerated the crisis. It is certain that after this 
she was ordered to leave home for lengthened 
periods, and that her father began in the summer 
of 1850 a practice which lasted for years, and intro- 
duced her to a part of Scotland that charmed her 
from the beginning, and for which she maintained 
a loyal affection to the end. 

During six successive summers the Birds spent a 
number of weeks in the Scottish Highlands, in Inver- 
ness-shire, Ross-shire, and, ever more attracted to 
the west, in Skye, Raasay, Harris, and Mull. Isabella 
was with her family on all but one of these occasions, 
the exception being the summer of 1854, when she 
had her first opportunity of going to America. 

To Mr. Bird the strict Sunday observance in 

Scotland, and especially in Free Church Scotland, 
immediately after the Disruption, was most sym- 
pathetic. " He loved Scotland," says his daughter, 
"not more for its beauty than for its hallowed 
Sabbaths and Christian zeal and for the love with 
which he was ever welcomed by his Presbyterian 
brethren." The " larger mind " which had made him 
draw close the bonds of Christian union between 
himself and his Nonconformist fellow-workers in 
Birmingham brought him into like relationships and 
communion with the first Free Church pastors 
that band of men nerved and inspired by the Holy 


Spirit, taught and empowered of God, They 
opened their pulpit doors to the faithful servant of 
their own Master, and he preached in many of their 
churches, in Inverness and Ross-shire, in Skye, in 
Renfrew, and elsewhere. Wherever he went he 
found Sunday a hallowed day. He fought in England 
thirty years for its consecration. He was an active 
member of the Metropolitan Commission, and 
attended its meetings in London twice weekly. He 
had suffered persecution and desertion for its sake ; 
his health had been broken and two livings had 
been resigned in his conflict with Sunday trading. 
It is no wonder that his attachment to the Scotland 
of 1850 was very strong. 



FROM time to time Isabella Bird stayed with both 
the Bishop of Chester and the Bishop of Winchester, 
who, when in London, lived in Winchester House, 
St. James's Square. In 1852, probably in late autumn, 
she paid her cousins there a visit, and on her way 
met with an adventure, her action in which illustrates 
the rapidity and courage with which she faced the 

She had taken a cab from the railway station, 
and while driving out of the gate received on her 
lap a small parcel of advertisements, which, as was 
usual then, was thrown in at the open window. 
Putting it on the seat in front of her, she noticed 
another parcel lying, evidently left by the former 
" fare." She opened it, and found papers inside 
giving details of a plot to assassinate a member of 
the Cabinet at the approaching funeral of the Duke 
of Wellington. She had scarcely put them into her 
pocket, when she heard a voice stopping the cab, 
and a dark, foreign-looking man addressed her at 
the window. He asked if a parcel had been found 
in the cab. At once she handed to him the little 
bundle of advertisements, and after a minute's 
progress bade the driver hasten to the Home Office, 
where she insisted upon seeing the minister, in 
whose hands she placed the papers. So serious did 


the matter appear to the Home Office that, while 
she remained in Winchester House, a detective was 
posted there to guard her against the vengeance of 
those whose plans she had frustrated. 

Some sorrow, over which she brooded in the 
early fifties, was sapping her nervous strength, 
already impaired by the operation. Her health was 
far from satisfactory. It seemed as if quiescence 
so depressed her vitality that even the delightful 
months in Skye and Ross-shire failed to replenish 
its exhausted stores. Ever as spring returned, the 
old lassitude came with it, and in the relaxing air of 
Wyton she was able for little beyond her literary 
work, her chemical studies, and needle-work, all of 
which were possible in a semi-recumbent position. 
One effect, as well as cause, of this condition was 
sleeplessness, and no means taken to overcome it 
proved successful. A brief stay at Portsmouth 
hardly broke the habit of insomnia. But it supplied 
material for two papers in The Leisure Hour, as 
well as for lively letters home, which were afterwards 
printed in pamphlet form and sold to help her fund 
for aiding the West Highlanders. This pamphlet is 
forgotten now, but it described Portsmouth in March, 
1854, when the sad Crimean War had become inevit- 
able, and when Sir Charles Napier was starting on his 
fruitless cruise to the Baltic. Miss Bird saw Queen 
Victoria receive him on board the Fairy and bid 
him and the fleet God-speed. 

The doctor urged a sea-voyage, and in the early 
summer of 1854 an opportunity occurred for carrying 
out his prescription. One of Mr. Bird's numerous 
cousins had married Captain Swabey, a veteran of 
the Peninsular War, who, after Waterloo, had been 
sent to Prince Edward's Island to superintend the 

i8 5 4] IN AMERICA 29 

defences there. His daughters were in England and 
were about to return to their parents, and it was 
arranged that Isabella should accompany them, and 
make use of the occasion to extend her travels to 
Canada and as much of America as was possible. 
Mr. Bird gave her 100 and leave to stay away as 
long as it lasted. At his request, Mr. McFie saw 
her off on a Saturday morning in June. 

Her cabin had been taken in the Canada, a royal 
mail steamer of the Cunard line. Its destination 
was first Halifax, in Nova Scotia, and then Boston. 
As the steamer left the Mersey she passed close to 
the troopship Himalaya, in which the Scots Greys 
were embarking for the Crimea- 1 4 the lions led by 
asses," who were to be shot down at Balaklava. 

The voyage to Halifax was uneventful, through 
a succesion of calms, with neither icebergs nor fogs 
to lend it a tremor. Miss Bird proved to be an 
excellent sailor, enjoyed her meals, and observed 
her fellow passengers. Only twenty of these were 
English ; the others, numbering a hundred and fifty, 
came from almost every European country. She 
and her cousins landed at Halifax, and spent two 
days there. Then, taking the stage-coach, they 
were jolted over corduroy roads to Truro and 
Pictou. At Truro Miss Bird found a delightful old 
Highland woman, Nancy Stewart of the mountain, 
who gave the stage-passengers tea, and who 
responded joyfully to Isabella's greeting in Gaelic. 
Then they passed through a forest belonging to the 
Indians, where silence reigned and expectant thrills 
died away ungratified by adventures. 

When they reached Charlotte Town they were 
met by Captain Swabey, who insisted on Isabella's 
staying six weeks at his house, as Canada and the 


States were in the grip of cholera. Her report of 
Prince Edward's Island is not attractive : quarrels, 
gossip, and mutual detraction characterised its social 
life. Still she found congenial friends, with whom 
she made a tour of the island, its pleasantest 
incident being the discovery of a Skye man called 
Donnuil Dhu, with whom she had comforting talk 
of the Cuchullins and Loch Coruisk. 

It must have been August when she left for 
Boston by steamer and coach, succeeded by steamer 
and train, a comfortless, solitary journey, only re- 
deemed by the great kindness shown to her by her 
American fellow passengers. She saw nothing of 
Boston at this time, leaving after two days' rest for 
Cincinnati, where she was Bishop Mcllvaine's guest, 
and where she learned much of the working of 
slavery in the Southern States from her host, and 
of the anxiety caused by Mrs. Beecher Stowe's Uncle 
Tom's Cabin, just published, which it was feared by 
the friends of emancipation would retard rather than 
advance their cause. 

From Cincinnati she crossed the prairies to Chicago, 
refreshed by the beauty of those " gardens of God," 
where great bands of colour marked the various 
prairie-flowers lilies, helianthus, cineraria, lupin, and 
euphorbia. The train, heedless of time-tables, came 
to an abrupt pause in their midst, and she had five 
hours of rest ; then it went on to Rock Island, 
where she embarked on board a Mississippi steamer 
for the mere sensation of a three miles' cruise and 
back on the great river. It was in the train between 
Rock Island and Chicago that the famous pick-pocket 
incident took place, one in which her self-possession 
matched the courage with which she had thwarted 
a cowardly political assassination. A most unpre- 

i854] CANADA 31 

possessing man sat next to her in the car. She 
felt his hand in her pocket abstracting her purse, 
in which there was only enough money for petty 
travelling needs, but which contained her luggage 
checks. She sat passive, giving no indication of her 
loss till the luggage checks were being collected. 
When the official reached her, she bowed politely 
towards her neighbour and said, " This gentleman 
has my checks ! " and he was startled into giving 
them up. 

Chicago interested her deeply. Her description is 
a striking picture of the great western capital in 
making fifty years ago. But she could not complete 
her observations, as friends were to meet her at 
Toronto, and she had to travel by rail and steamer 
twice over to keep her appointment. On the way 
she halted at Detroit, which pleased her. Her friends 
duly met, she settled down to a thorough explora- 
tion of Toronto, noting the difference between the 
method of its growth and the sudden upheaval of 
big American cities, where recently was prairie, or 
forest, or mighty lake, and where a short time ago 
only the red hunter crossed the solitude to set his 
traps or launch his canoe. Stable progress marked 
the Canadian, as sudden growth and expansion 
marked the newer American cities ; and while in 
Canada, streets, buildings, and institutions were 
not only completed but had acquired a settled and 
harmonious dignity in the others, roads, streets, 
buildings, and undertakings were all unfinished, and 
the founders seemed callous to their disorderly 

Two excursions from Toronto varied her study of 
its civic conditions. One was a visit to the pleasant 
city of Hamilton, built on Burlington Bay. Her 


voyage thither, short as it was, included a sudden 
storm ; the side of the saloon was struck and shat- 
tered by a colossal wave, and she was thrown down 
into the water, a man near her having seized a life- 
buoy out of her hands. For a few seconds she was 
in the first stage of drowning, and her thoughts 
flashed back to the dear ones at home with a pang for 
their grief when they heard the news. But, happily, 
another wave floated her back and into a state- 
room, and soon the steamer righted itself. It was 
a dread experience, and prompted her to vow that 
she would never again venture on Lake Ontario a 
melancholy expanse of water at the best, and subject 
to accesses of fury. 

However, a few days later she took the s.s. Arabian 
back, and was met on Toronto Pier by Mr. Forrest, 
who had invited her to pay his family a visit in the 
backwoods, where her imagination had been busy with 
visions of a clearing, a lumber-waggon, a log-hut, and 
all the primitive contrivances due to such a home 
so carefully provided in fiction. So, when a smart 
mail-phaeton painted scarlet and black and drawn by 
a pair of perfectly groomed horses awaited her host 
and herself at the hotel, she was taken aback and had 
to control her surprise. There were twenty-two miles 
to drive, some of them bad, but much of the way 
excellent plank road, easier for draught than a high 
road. It was now the Canadian autumn, and the 
tints were glorious scarlet, crimson, orange, and 
purple. They drove through forest, scrub, and 
cedar-swamp, then past a little whitewashed English 
church, into a field and along an apple-tree approach, 
up to a beautiful brick house surrounded by a green 
verandah and embowered in richly laden fruit-trees 
and flaming sumachs. When Mrs. Forrest appeared 


to welcome her, clad in pink and white muslin, and 
took her through a hall floored with polished oak into 
a large and beautiful drawing-room, Miss Bird cast 
her preconceptions of backwoods life away, and com- 
posed a new theory of the lumber-man who drove a 
mail-phaeton, listened to Beethoven well played on 
the piano every evening, and slept on a feather-bed ! 

Her visit to the Forrests was altogether delightful, 
and she shared the whole round of Canadian country- 
life, including the neighbourly "bee," which at that 
season was a " thrashing-bee." Mr. Forrest took her 
for long and adventurous rides, roadless scrambles 
through the bush, and gallops along the shore of 
Lake Ontario. 

Quite a month was spent after this pleasant fashion, 
and in its course several Sundays at both Presbyterian 
and Episcopalian churches. " Are ye frae the braes 
o' Gleneffer ? " said an old Scotchwoman to her one 
day; " were ye at oor kirk o' Sabbath last, ye wadna 5 
ken the differ." 

But the time came for her return to Toronto, and 
then further east, taking Niagara on the way. She 
devoted many pages of her letters home to this last 
experience, which she "did" to the bitter end, to 
Termination Rock, " 230 ft. behind the Great Horse- 
shoe Fall," as was stated on her certificate, although 
a fellow traveller damped her elation by calling the 
document " an almighty, all-fired big flam." 

The Arabian took her down the St. Lawrence as 
far as the Thousand Islands, where, at five in the 
morning, she had to change into the New Era. In 
this steamer she cruised amongst the islands. They 
anchored before La Chine and shot the rapids at 
a rate of twenty-five miles an hour next morning 
when it was daylight, and so reached Montreal. 



Here Miss Bird stayed a few days with the Bishop, 
before she resumed her voyage down the great river 
to Quebec. She had only two letters of introduction 
to residents in the capital, one of them to Lord Elgin, 
the Governor-General, whose secretary was Lawrence 

Cholera had quitted the city less than two months 
before she entered it; but many desolated homes 
indicated its ravages. It was strange that, while still 
agitated and tremulous, society in Quebec whirled 
in a round of balls, receptions, sleigh-drives, and 
toboggan-parties. To most of these Miss Bird was 
invited along with her friends Mr. and Mrs. Alderson, 
and up to a certain point she enjoyed the experience. 
But her sense that a gaunt spectre still hovered near, 
and the contrast between the awful poverty of St. Roch, 
where lived the lapsed thousands in squalor and vice 
almost more brutal than the dwellers in a London 
slum and this brilliant circle of pleasure-seekers, 
indelibly impressed her sensitive mind. 

A visit to Spencer Wood, Lord Elgin's headquarters, 
was much spoilt by an attack of something very like 
cholera, probably contracted at St. Roch. It was 
called ague, but its effects lasted several weeks. 
Her second introduction was to the Honorable John 
Ross and his wife, who not only made her stay socially 
pleasant, but most profitable, on account of the 
useful and precise information of which she was in 
search and with which they were able to provide her. 
Mr. Ross was President of the Legislative Council, 
and knew all that her thirst for general and particular 
statistics desired, and she made notes of political, 
ecclesiastical, educational, industrial, and economic 
matters in most favourable circumstances while in 
his house. 

i8 5 4] RETURN TO WYTON 35 

One of her most interesting new acquaintances was 
Dr. Mountain, the Protestant Bishop of Quebec; 
famous for his arduous journeys to the Red River 
Settlements in a canoe, for the purpose of confirming 
846 Indian converts, and ordaining two of their 

The year was growing late when Miss Bird 
returned to Montreal, where she stayed again with 
the Bishop, quitting the See House regretfully for 
New York, which she reached in a series of tedious 

There, and in Boston, she lingered until the waning 
of her travelling finances suggested home. Intro- 
ductions from her Canadian friends procured her 
influential social privileges, and she recorded with 
warm appreciation all that she enjoyed and gained in 
the two great American cities. 

It was arranged that she should return to Halifax 
in the Cunard steamer America to join seven of her 
relatives, the Swabeys, bent on going back to 
England, so that her homeward voyage was in 
pleasant company and was uneventful. She reached 
her home after seven months' absence, with 10 of 
the original 100 in her pocket better in health, 
full of animation, and devoutly thankful to be once 
more with her parents and sister in the peaceful 
rectory of Wyton. 

In 1854, during her absence, the parish of 
Houghton-cum-Wyton received a new resident, who 
became an intimate friend of the family at Wyton 
Rectory. This was Mrs. George Brown, of The 
Elms, and to her we owe the following reminiscences 
of Isabella Bird's home and occupations during the 
remaining years of the fifties. 

Mrs. Brown writes: 


Wyton Rectory, a roomy, gabled house of grey 
brick, was pleasantly situated amongst fine old trees, 
in which the rooks built year after year, and surrounded 
by green pastures bordering the broad River Ouse, 
which flows quietly in its fulness within a short distance 
of the house. A piece of water fed by the river formed 
a tiny lake close to the rectory. At that time Henrietta 
was my friend, but I became acquainted with Isabella 
soon after her return from America. I remember her 
favourite outdoor occupations then were riding and 
rowing, and we used often to meet along the roads 
and on the river. The roads had broad margins of 
grass, which favoured a pleasant gallop, and the 
waters of moat and river made boating especially 
delightful. Isabella was a fearless horsewoman, and 
would mount any horse, however spirited. In later 
years, when visiting at our house, she more than once 
rode a horse which no lady had mounted before, and 
she seemed to enjoy it all the more. 

When she came home from America, she occu- 
pied herself on the book, afterwards published by 
Mr. Murray. It was her wont to write by night, 
which occasioned encroachment on the hours of the 
next day for needed rest and sleep; and this habit, 
so early formed, lasted throughout her subsequent 
literary undertakings. Many friendships were made 
with families in neighbouring rectories, and the 
coachman, who is still alive, remembers the rides he 
took with his young mistress to visit them. 

The ride most frequently taken was to Brampton 
Park, where Lady Olivia Sparrow lived, a warm, 
kind friend of Isabella's. This venerable lady took 
a motherly interest in her young neighbour, whose 
courage, energy, and studiousness were in harmony 
with her own active nature. They were fast friends. 
Isabella had long periods of spinal suffering, after 
which she would brace herself to exercise. Reso- 
lution, courage, endurance, the love of adventure, 

From a picture by Ricliard Buckner, engraved by William Walker, 1854. 

i8 5 5] FIRST BOOK 37 

the power of overcoming difficulties, all characterised 
her in those young days, as they did to the end. 
Her friends realised that she would always carry 
through her own ideas of what was best, and embody 
them in action when and how she deemed suitable. 

Her family had carefully preserved all her letters ; 
and in her note-books were statistics and deductions 
most studiously collected and recorded. Her father 
urged her to revise these ample materials and give 
them literary form. With this task she was occupied 
during five months of 1855. It was not difficult; for 
the letters narrated every day's doings and impres- 
sions, and were full of vivacious description. Besides, 
she loved writing for its own sake, and use and study 
had developed her natural facility of expression. 
Even in ordinary conversation her sentences came so 
finely constructed that each might have been com- 
mitted to print as it fell; and the habit of business 
correspondence, begun in her work for the West 
Highlanders, her early papers for magazines, and 
her full diaries and notes on the summer visits 
to Scotland, were in her case training sufficient 
for the author's craft. Indeed, the articles already 
referred to were noticeable in respect of style and 

In June, 1855, she met at Winchester House Mn 
John Milford, the author of travels in Norway and 
Spain, whose books were published by Mr. John 
Murray. He was attracted by her vivacious account 
of her recent adventures, and she confided to him 
her desire to find a publisher for the now completed 
manuscript, part of which had been sent to a Canadian 
man of letters for corroboration and correction. 

Mr. Milford read some of its chapters, and offered 
to introduce her to Mr. John Murray, of Albemarle 


Street. This was done at once, but it was not till 
October i that she ventured to send her work to 
the famous publisher, and to write to him herself. 
Her letter illustrates the modesty which distinguished 
her literary career from first to last, an integral 
element of her character. 
She wrote : 

I have prepared for the press some travels in the 
United States, Canada, and the Eastern Colonies in 
North America, taken in the summer, autumn, and 
winter of last year. The title is, The Car and the 
Steamboat, and I, or rather some literary friends 
whom I have consulted, think that there is sufficient 
of novelty in them to justify their publication. 

This was the beginning of a correspondence and 
a friendship with Mr. and Mrs. Murray, and with 
their son, which lasted almost half a century. 

Mr. Murray accepted the manuscript, but objected 
to its title, and suggested in preference The English- 
woman in America ; and although Miss Bird scarcely 
liked the change, considering it too pretentious for 
a young authoress, she deferred to his judgment in 
the matter, for her own "inventive genius failed." 

By November, the printing of her book had well 
begun, and she was correcting proofs most of that 
and of the following month. The Englishwoman in 
America appeared in January, 1856, and the edition 
was very soon exhausted. She ordered forty-five 
copies for herself at trade prices, and this led to a 
correspondence upon booksellers' rights. 

No [she wrote], I certainly will not undersell 
the booksellers. These forty-five copies have been 
ordered from me by friends in Ross-shire and Skye, 
who are two hundred and fifty miles from the 
nearest bookseller, and whose means of communication 
with the civilised world are very few and far between. 


A yacht belonging to a friend is shortly going to 
those northern regions, which will convey all the 

Her book was shortly followed by one written by a 
Miss Murray, in no way related to her friend and pub- 
lisher, who was one of her fellow passengers on the 
Canada. This lady went to America with the avowed 
intention of writing a book. She took so perverted a 
view of the slavery question that a Virginian slave- 
owner said it would be quite worth while to pension 
her, for the principal anti-slavery pressure was pro- 
duced by the state of public feeling in England on 
the subject. He did not, however, put his passing 
reflection into substantial practice, and Miss Murray's 
views lost her the appointment held prior to her 

Very soon both daily and weekly journals were 
busy with Miss Bird's book. She was in London 
when the Times eulogy appeared, and on her return 
to Wyton she received four Canadian papers all 
containing favourable reviews of The Englishwoman 
in America and quoting from her account of Canada. 
On the day that these were issued in Toronto, a 
bookseller there received over fifty applications for 
copies, and arrangements were made with Mr. Murray 
to supply this demand. Even in America, where 
her strictures on slavery could not be entirely 
welcome, the book found many appreciative readers, 
one of whom sent her a beautiful carbuncle bracelet 
as a tribute of his admiration for the justice which 
she had done to his country. 

11 1 am vain enough," she wrote to Mr. Murray, 
"to think that I have every reason to be satisfied 
with its success and with the favourable general 
criticism it has met with." 


Substantial cheques from her publisher endorsed 
the literary verdict, and these helped her to carry 
out a scheme for the benefit of West Highland fisher- 
folk which had occupied her thoughts for some 
years and towards which some of her friends con- 
tributed. This was the provision of deep-sea fishing- 
boats for the men in Skye, Ross-shire, lona, and 
Mull, districts where poverty had stultified enterprise. 

Her affection for the Highlanders and Islanders, 
whose kindliness and deep religious convictions 
half a century ago won the sympathetic regard of 
their visitors from the south, prompted these efforts 
on their behalf. She was in the Highlands during 
three summer months of 1855 engaged in this phil- 
anthropic experiment, and spent September at Balma- 
carra House, whence she went to Broadford in Skye, 
remote and desolate, for the route had not yet been 
fully opened by Messrs. Hutcheson, whose Clansman 
and Clydesdale alone ploughed the stormy northern 
waves. When the steamer brought Mr. and Mrs. 
Bird and their daughters and lowered them into the 
boat, the shore would be lined with men and women 
who rushed into the sea to drag their boat up on 
the beach and to shake their hands again and again 
with warm Gaelic greetings and inquiries. Long 
afterwards Miss Bird talked of those heart-stirring 
welcomes with tender retrospection as of golden 
moments in the past, for she felt the pathos of that 
dear Celtic remnant, unspoilt then by the vulgar 
south in touch with a mystical world, where past 
and future reached out into the unseen ; where the 
present was toil and sorrow, brief rapture and long 
pain, but all beneath the Father's guiding eyenot 
soiled with materialism and made sordid by unbelief, 
but in both gloom and gleam spiritualised by the 


presence at all points of God in the wind and in 
the wave, on the mountain-top and on the moor. 
For even their crimes were the outcome of a sort of 
loftiness, the daring treachery, the fierce revenge, 
the insult, the swelling boast, the wrath and its swift 
violence. Children were they and lovable as children : 
in their fantastic terrors and superstitions pagan 
as children ; in their affection and loyalty spontaneous 
as children; in their faith simple as children. No 
wonder that this gifted and understanding woman 
was drawn to the unspoilt Gaels, any one of whom 
would have given his life to save or prosper hers. 

" You should visit these wild West Highlands," she 
wrote to Mr. Murray : " the air is so pure, the scenery 
so magnificent, the enjoyment so keen and fresh." 

Towards the end of 1856 her correspondent sug- 
gested that she should co-operate in the preparation 
of his series of guide-books and compile one upon 
the West Highlands. 

When you develop your idea [she wrote] I 
daresay that I shall like to undertake it, if I am not 
stinted in time, as I am not at all anxious for the 
termination of our connection as author and publisher. 
My pen has been idle, except that I have been fabri- 
cating twelve papers on popular chemistry, a subject 
in which I am deeply interested. We have spent three 
months in Scotland each year for six years past, and 
until this last summer I have always taken copious 
notes on the various places which we have visited, 
but I do not know how far these would be serviceable 
in the compilation of a guide-book. I should be glad 
if you would enlighten me as to the kind of work 
you propose, and then we can discuss the subject on 
my next visit to London, which will be early in the 

But the project fell through, because her health 
declined with the spring of 1857, an( 3 before the 


season was far advanced the doctor urged her to 
leave again for America. She intended to take a 
six months' tour, but her numerous invitations and 
introductions extended this term into almost a 
whole year. It was deemed inexpedient to publish 
a second volume of American travels so soon after 
the first, and we are dependent on her own brief 
summary contained in a letter written on April 26, 
1858, for a precis of her movements. 

I remained a fortnight at New York, which I had 
visited before from which point my route was new 
and three weeks in Philadelphia ; two months in the 
slave states, Virginia, South Carolina x and Georgia; 
a fortnight at Washington during the session of Con- 
gress ; a month in the neighbourhood of Boston ; a 
week at Longfellow's ; two months in a beautiful 
village in Western Massachusetts ; two weeks at 
Albany ; a week at Niagara ; two weeks at Toronto ; 
one month in the bush ; two weeks at Detroit ; six 
weeks in making a tour in the far, far west over the 
prairies of Illinois and Wisconsin, forty miles beyond 
railroads, up the Upper Mississippi, into the Minnesota 
Territory, to the Falls of Minnehaha, up Lake Huron 
and to the extreme end of Lake Superior, and into the 
Hudson's Bay Territory among the wild Indians a 
journey altogether of 2,000 miles, during which I did 
not remain stationary for four weeks, as it was con- 
sidered that frequent change was the most likely to 
benefit my health. 

It is a tantalising catalogue of journeys and stages 
unrelieved by her bright comments, and but little 
can now be retrieved of the incidents which enlivened 
it. But the " week at Longfellow's " recalls a fading 
reminiscence of her meeting many of the Concord 
group of intellectuals in his house, a large country 
house near Boston, where George Washington lived 
for some years from 1775, while the War of Inde- 
pendence was being waged. Here she saw the 


sacred room in which he wrote his despatches. It 
was either during this week, or when she stayed at 
Concord, that she spent a memorable evening round 
the great fireplace of the "Wayside Inn," with 
Longfellow, Dana, Lowell, Emerson, and other 
members of the fraternity. And in Concord she 
became well acquainted with both Emerson and his 
eccentric but interesting neighbour Thoreau, who 
lived there with two kind, quaint sisters, during 
intervals between his .experiments in solitude. The 
American literary mind, so near to nature, so charged 
with primal enthusiasm for truth and goodness, and 
so optimistic, impressed her as peculiarly suited to 
national needs. 

In a little book, written in 1859, sne describes what 
was her main subject of inquiry throughout this 
tour in the United States. A great revival was in 
progress, in which her father was deeply interested, 
and to supply him with full information she thoroughly 
investigated religious developments in America, 
whether external as evidenced in the different 
Churches, or internal as indicated by national 
characteristics and education. 

To secure an impartial and unprejudiced estimate, 
she went to all the religious meetings, of .whatever 
creed professed, and listened to no fewer than one 
hundred and thirty sermons, some of them preached 
to Indians, to trappers, to negroes and by negroes. 
Perhaps' the service which moved her most was one 
in the African Baptist Church in Richmond, held 
on the last Sunday of 1857. An aged negro, called 
upon to pray, did so in such a manner, reverent, 
apt, and eloquent, with such perfect diction and 
accent and with such a fulness of thoughtful petition, 
that she burst into tears and declared afterwards 


that her religious life was quickened and strengthened 
for ever by this beautiful prayer uttered by a slave. 

Another remembered fragment belongs to her 
travels in the wild west. Standing on a little pier 
by Lake Huron, waiting for the gangway to be 
lowered from a steamer on which she was about 
to embark, she was jostled off into deep water 
between pier and steamer. A tall Red Indian leapt 
down and seized her, saving her life, but not before 
she had experienced, as on Lake Ontario, that sudden 
reversion of memory to the past which is one of 
the mental phenomena of drowning. No long pano- 
rama of events appeared to her, however only one 
scene her childish disobedience in slipping out of 
bed to look at the ranunculuses, a scene forgotten 
a few days after its occurrence. 

Her return to Wyton Rectory was on April 3, 1858. 

Her father, who as she wrote that year was the 
" mainspring and object of her life," had been 
strenuously at work in the cause of Sabbath ob- 
servance and in that of temperance. He found 
amongst the agricultural labourers of his parish too 
many instances of ruined and debased lives due to 
drinking, and in order to reach their consciences he 
began to leave off the glass of wine with dinner so 
usual then, and by autumn, 1857, was able to do 
without it. Early next year he took the pledge 
publicly, and declared that he had never been in 
better health than during that winter. His daughter's 
letters about the American revival had roused a 
great desire that the awakening spirit might come 
to England, and his daily prayer was, " Lord, revive 
Thou Thy work in the midst of the years." 

He had, indeed, begun a pamphlet on the subject, 
and hoped to finish it soon after Isabella's return. 


,8 5 8] MR. BIRD'S DEATH 45 

On that April evening the little family group was 
radiant with the joy of reunion, and without 
forebodings of the heavy loss which was about to 
fall upon it. A parting, longer far and more 
agonising than any which they could have foreseen, 
was at hand. 

That very night Mr. Bird was attacked by influenza, 
and a fortnight later a deep-seated abscess began 
to form. He refused to forego his duty, and preached 
in his own pulpit on April 18 for the last time. 
On the 2ist his sufferings were so great that the 
doctor forbade his rising, and a week later a surgical 
operation took place. But he was too weak to 
revive. On May 10 he asked them to kneel where 
he could see them, and commended them in prayer 
to God and to the hope of reunion in that inherit- 
ance that fadeth not away, and on May 14 he died. 

Towards the end he spoke almost constantly of 
his flock. "Tell them," he said, "that my sole desire 
has been to bring them to Jesus." During his last 
night he was too feeble to do more than whisper, 
but his whispers were ever of " the Friend that 
sticketh closer than any brother"; and as he spoke 
he smiled radiantly, as one comforted by the presence 
of Him he loved. 

In June Miss Bird wrote the short memorial sketch 
already alluded to, from which these details have 
been chosen. Her health, impaired by this blow, 
and never strong at Wyton, drooped in the summer, 
and in July she went with her mother and sister 
to Scotland, and passed some months in the High- 
lands, where she occupied herself in putting into 
form her notes upon Aspects of Religion in the United 
States. This was in response to her father's dying 
wishes. She wrote in all nine papers, published in 


The Patriot newspaper, and so much appreciated by 
its readers that their republication in a separate form 
was called for in the spring of 1859. 

She had seen to the printing and publication of 
her father's manuscript, Some Account of the Great 
Religious Awakening now going on in the United 
States, for which she had supplied him with statistics. 
It was published by Messrs. Seeley in the very month 
of his decease. 



WYTON was left behind, and for some time Mrs. Bird 
and her daughters were without a settled home. 
When the demand for a book on " Religion in 
America" reached Miss Bird, she was visiting rela- 
tives near Tunbridge Wells. She proposed to revise 
her papers, and to make such alterations as would 
suit them for readers not exclusively of the religious 
world, but for those who were less likely to be 
acquainted with their subject 

The book was published by Messrs. Sampson 
Low & Co., in the summer of 1859, an d gave a 
remarkable summary both of the sectional charac- 
teristics of American creeds and churches, and of 
their practical influence on the various divisions of 
the nation. Thus, she pointed out that in the north, 
Congregationalism and Puritan forms of worship 
resulted from the stern virtue of the Puritan Fathers ; 
that in the south, Episcopalianism was established 
by the immigrant merchants and gentlemen ; and 
that in the West, where were collected the restless 
and enterprising elements of European and American 
society, " every creed had its adherents and every 
church its ministers, from Mormonism upwards." 
It abounds in graphic description and illustration, 
and ends with the declaration of her steady faith in 
the growth of Christianity throughout America and 



the great country's destiny in carrying out God's 
purposes towards the human race. 

Just before Aspects of Religion in America was pub- 
lished, Miss Bird spent three weeks in Ireland inves- 
tigating what was known as the " Ulster Revival," 
a movement which had spread from America, and 
which showed some of the undesirable features of 
an excitement communicated rather than inspired. 
She says, in a letter to Mr. Murray: "We saw the 
movement in every denomination and in all its 
phases, sober and extravagant. I never witnessed 
anything more frightful than some scenes at Armagh." 

That autumn, too, was spent in the Highlands, 
and most of the winter in Edinburgh, where she 
had begun to make many friends. Perhaps the 
earliest of these were the Rev. George D. Cullen 
and his daughter. Mr. Cullen had been much 
interested in her articles on the American revival, 
and had corresponded with her when they first 
appeared. So it was to Miss Cullen that Miss Bird 
wrote, when her mother decided to winter in Edin- 
burgh, asking her to find them rooms, and to these 
two friends they owed their first welcome to the 
northern capital. They were subsequently led to 
make their home there, partly because they loved 
Scotland and because it was more convenient for the 
West Highlands than the South of England, and 
partly because in working for the fisher-folk and 
crofters Miss Bird found helpers and sympathisers 
in Edinburgh. She soon became acquainted with 
Dr. Guthrie, Dr. Hanna, Dr. John Brown, and 
Dr. Macdonald, of North Leith, all keenly interested 
in the fragile little lady, whose spirited mind and 
sympathetic insight gave her an exceptional power 
of attracting and retaining friends. 


In 1860 Mrs. Bird took a comfortable flat at No. 3 
Castle Terrace, where they lived for many years. 
It must have been in that year that I first met 
Miss Bird. She had an introduction to Professor 
and Mrs. Blackie, then resident at 24 Hill Street, 
where she called one afternoon when I was present. 
The memory of a small, slight figure dressed in 
mourning is still vivid of her white face shining 
between the black meshes of a knitted Shetland veil ; 
of her great, observant eyes, flashing and smiling, 
but melancholy when she was silent; of her gentle- 
ness and the exquisite modesty of her manner; and, 
above all, of her soft and perfectly modulated voice, 
never betrayed into harshness or loudness, or even 
excitement, but so magnetic that all in the room 
were soon absorbed in listening to her. The incident 
which she narrated has long been forgotten, but 
the manner of it lives to this day the skill of her 
delicately woven sentences, her perfect choice of 
words, the value of what she told, the point and 
vivacity of it all. Longing to know her better, my 
aunt (Miss Frances Stoddart) and I called on Mrs. Bird, 
and so began a friendship which endured for my aunt 
whilst she lived, and for myself whilst the life I am 
now recording lasted. 

Miss Bird was in those years often suffering from 
spinal prostration, and could seldom rise before noon ; 
but all her correspondence was done in the morning, 
as well as many of her numerous articles for The 
Leisure Hour y The Family Treasury, Good Words, and 
Sunday at Home. She wrote propped up by pillows, 
a flat writing-board upon her knees, and letters or 
sheets of manuscript scattered around her. Often 
she laid down her pen to greet some privileged 
visitor, and sometimes sacrificed an hour or more 



to advise, suggest, console, and stimulate. Dr. Moir 
attended her then, but after a few years he brought 
Dr. Grainger Stewart to take his place. 

She was able to make calls, attend committee 
meetings and do business in the afternoons, and 
occasionally to dine out, although she was chary 
of too frequent social fatigues. Wherever she went 
she became without effort the most absorbing person 
present, and an hour spent with her was worth many 
dinner-parties, even in those brilliant Edinburgh days. 
It was her power of forgetting herself entirely in 
the person whose character, mind, or mood she was 
seeking to help that made her so effective a friend. 
She was never blind to defects in her acquaint- 
ances ; indeed, she noted them keenly, but she did 
not visit them with the appalling self-righteousness 
of commoner natures. It is difficult now to feel 
that she disliked defects so much as one's friends 
usually do ; perhaps they lent piquancy to the 
worthier qualities, and she preferred the complex 
to the obvious. But her eyes searched out all 
qualities, and brought them, if not to judgment, cer- 
tainly to comment. She was sometimes accounted 
insincere, as she was accounted inaccurate ; no 
more unjust criticism was ever passed. The keen- 
ness and thoroughness of her penetration made her 
sincere, tolerant, and all-forgiving. She allowed her- 
self to comment on all qualities alike, but those 
comments of a more critical character were not offered 
spontaneously, they were drawn from her by others, 
whilst her expressions of warm appreciation came 
unsuggested and unstinted. Frail, dependent on the 
love of mother and sister, timid, often disinclined to 
make a stand for her own opinions, she was none 
the less an absolutely independent observer, and 


used, in order to complete her own judgment, not 
the idle words of others, but the deep, pardoning, 
understanding love of the Christ who lived in 

One influential element of her life, from its earliest 
years till she was left solitary, was her deep home 
affection. Mere acquaintances scarcely noticed it, for 
it was never paraded, but each member of her family 
was wrapped up in devotion for the other, and each 
armed the others for happiness. Natural and acquired 
reserve concealed this mutual affection from the out- 
side world, and even their dearest friends saw but 
a gleam of it now and then. It was enough that it 
was realised and understood amongst themselves, 
and its satisfying presence filled their hearts with 
courage in all their undertakings. 

To help their beloved Highlanders was one of 
the undertakings which lay nearest to the hearts of 
Miss Bird and her mother and sister. Summer by 
summer they continued to make Oban their head- 
quarters. Mr. Hutcheson gave all brothers of the 
pen and pencil free passes on his steamers, and 
included Miss Bird in his generous franchise. She 
used his passes freely, and made many voyages 
amongst the islands. Everywhere there was dis- 
tress blighted potato crops, poor harvests, acute 
poverty. Captain Otter, of the Government Naval 
Survey Service, lived just outside Oban, in the Manor 
House, where great fuchsias clambered up the white 
walls, loving the wet western wind. His wife knew 
the islands well, and in relieving their starving people 
joined with Miss Bird in organising plans for the 
emigration of some, and for the industrial employment 
of others. Miss Bird originated the Harris cloth 
manufacture, the success of which was mainly due to 


Mrs. Otter, Mrs. Thomas, Mrs. Clifton, and other 
ladies who were drawn into co-operation with her. 

Lady Gordon Cathcart, whose crofters in the Outer 
Hebrides were in desperate need, welcomed the 
emigration scheme to which Miss Bird was devoting 
herself, and assisted in the transport of the Islanders 
to Canada, where they were to find land, labour, 
fellow countrymen, and encouragement. Miss Bird 
took upon herself the correspondence required to 
carry out this enterprise. Her acquaintance with 
Canada and her influential friends there were her 
capital, and she wrote to them with such fulness of 
detail and with such admirable suggestions that they 
were prompted to give willing assistance in just the 
manner desired. There remained the passages to 
secure and the outfits to provide. Concerning the 
passages she sought advice from Messrs. Allan, and 
induced Mrs. Otter to accompany her on her visit 
to their office in Glasgow. 

This brought about her introduction to Mr. 
Nathaniel Dunlop, who remembers the occasion well, 
and writes : 

It was during the early sixties that Mrs. Otter called 
upon me, accompanied by a bright young lady, who 
I learned was Miss Bird, to arrange for the passages 
to Canada of crofters and their families from the 
Western Highlands. The impression left by our inter- 
view is of my great desire to serve the singularly 
gifted young lady well. She astonished me by her 
energy and her capacity in making arrangements for 
the conveyance of the emigrants. She paid me several 
visits in respect to these, and took a personal interest 
in the minutest details. When all was settled and her 
people were about to embark, she was amongst them, 
seeing to their every want. The embarkation took 
place the day before their departure. Miss Bird 
remained with them all night, and when the official 
visit prior to their departure took place she had them 


marshalled in order, tidy and cheerful. The sadness 
at leaving their native shore had given place to cheer- 
fulness due to Miss Bird's presence amongst them, 
to the completeness of the arrangements for their 
comfort which she had secured, and to the bright 
hopes for their future well-being which she had 

This was the first of a succession of such embarka- 
tions in the years between 1862 and 1866. Mr. Dunlop 
goes on to say : 

Several scenes of this kind, in which Miss Bird was 
the chief actor, come to my memory, and the impres- 
sions that remain of those early emigrant times are 
the pleasantest and most vivid of all my experiences. 
There was something in Miss Bird that filled every 
one with whom she came in contact with a desire to 
serve her. She never complained of inattention to 
her people, nor asked for special consideration for 
them or for herself. She was personally self-denying, 
her only wish being to make others happy. There 
was a fascination in all her ways. She was small of 
stature, simple and neat in her attire, and was full of 
a refined humour that brightened her conversation. 
There was always a grace in what she said, and an 
ever-present evidence of latent intellectual power ; 
and presiding over all there was a dignity that forbade 
the slightest approach to familiarity. 

Of the outfits supplied to her emigrants I have 
personal recollections. Miss Bird provided new gar- 
ments for them all. Her mother and sister helped 
her energetically, and friends who knew what was 
required gladly brought her cloth for gowns, coats, 
and kilts, calico and flannel, and such necessaries 
as brushes, combs, shawls, bags, and hold-alls. The 
chief difficulty lay in getting the materials made up 
in time, but that was overcome by a series of sewing- 
bees, managed by Miss Phcebe Blyth. Miss Bird 
was herself an excellent needle-woman, had sewed 
smogks at the age of six, and was prouder of her 


dressmaking than of her bookmaking. The measur- 
ing, folding, unfolding and refolding, the despair of 
completing twelve kilts in time, the many regretful 
visions of twelve unhappy Highland laddies strug- 
gling with those twisted and uneasy skirts have never 
been forgotten. 

The emigrants were not only sent out with a 
respectable " plenishing," not only sped on their way 
by Miss Bird, but were committed to the care of 
friends in the States and in Canada, who saw to their 
settlement and favourable start on grants of lands 
and in the backwoods. And she visited them after 
their first difficulties were surmounted. Mr. Dunlop 
continues : 

One man alone of those who shared with myself 
in the shipping part of the work remains, and when 
I asked him if he recollected Isabella Bird and her 
Highlanders, "Yes," he cried, "I mind her well, and 
a grand woman she was. She went out with us in 
the St. David in 1866, to Portland, Maine, when I 
was an officer in the ship. She went out to visit the 
people she had helped to settle in Canada." I have 
every reason to believe that she was instrumental 
in founding a prosperous settlement. 

The crofters sent out were from the Hebrides 
only : Miss Bird had no power to help emigrants 
from the mainland. 

Her social life expanded during the years that she 
was thus engaged. She was, while her mother lived, 
less tempted to wander afar than in later years, 
because the long summer drew them all northwards, 
and her constant voyages and the arrangements 
which she had to make supplied occupation, fresh 
air, and change sufficient to maintain her in a 
measure of health. lona had grown especially dear 
to her. The Birds were in the habit of living in 

i864] IONA 55 

the fisher-huts, where they acquainted themselves 
with simple fare, long before the St. Columba Inn 
was built. The Duke of Argyll, the Bishop of Argyll 
and the Isles, and Mr. Skene were Isabella's guides 
and instructors, and there was nothing connected 
with the archaeology and sacred history of the island 
which she did not know, while its shores and rocks 
and flowery knolls were all familiar and dear to 
her, as truly as its Street of the Dead and tombs of 
kings, its Runic crosses and pillow of St. Columba. 
Sometimes Professor and Mrs. Blackie would come 
over to lona and live on fish and girdle cakes, eggs 
and butter, and she would act as guide to both. 
This friendship had grown very important to her, 
and Mrs. Blackie had gladly welcomed into her inner 
circle of friends one so devoted to well-doing, so 
exceptional in mind and character, so understanding, 
so unassuming and yet so instinct with power. Edin- 
burgh knew nothing about Miss Bird's early literary 
success, but was beginning to read her articles in 
The Leisure Hour and The Sunday Magazine, although 
it was rather her personality than her writings which 
gave her the passport to all that was intellectually 
and therefore socially best in the city. 

To Mrs. Blackie she turned with the same at- 
traction which she herself inspired, and we owe most 
of our acquaintance with this period of her life to their 
correspondence. A letter from Miss Bird written in 
the autumn of 1864 after Professor and Mrs. Blackie 
had left Oban, about the time that their thoughts 
were dwelling on a possible home above Kerrera and 
its Sound gives a vivid account of one of Miss Bird's 
island tours. 

I must sketch our ongoings since we left Oban 
for "parts unknown." I had a very rainy voyage to 


Skye, and reached Kyleakin at 3.30 on a gloomy 
morning. The Saturday was tolerable, and we went 
to Castle Bay, but the weather changed and I caught 
a bad cold and all my strength went. That terrible 
gale was very grand there, and on Tuesday, in coming 
round Ardnamurchan, the waves were as grim and 
resistless as human destiny. It was a miserable voyage 
of fourteen hours' storm and hail and sorrow. Near 
Tobermory, a passenger fell from the bridge and was 
drowned. Ana the gaze of the dead looking its last 
upon the familiar sky has haunted me ever since. Then 
a gentleman had an apoplectic fit in the saloon. Then 
we swamped a boat and saved the lives with difficulty, 
ending by running into the Pioneer at Oban Pier. 
The next day I joined mama and Hennie at Ardgour, 
and on the Friday came down to Oban for a hamper of 
food, leaving them on Appin Pier, but the Charon 
would not take them to Lismore till the next day, when 
I rejoined them and we remained there six days. I never 
before realised my ideal of quiet and pure primitive 
life. It was delicious. It seemed as if a heavenly balm 
stole in at every mental pore, and as if the invisible, 
usually shut out by the material, came very near. We 
never saw a creature excepting the interesting and 
patriarchal family where we lodged, and the perpetual 
gale prevented communication with the mainland. 
Our sounds were barkings, cacklings, lowings, 
bleatings, with the endless harmonies and discords of 
winds and waves. On Friday I went to Ballachulish 
and Corpach in the Pioneer, and we met at Appin and 
all came home in the evening to Oban, but we intend 
to return to our solitude to-morrow and to remain till 
Friday. I have been going about in the Pioneer in a 
tarpaulin coat and sou'-wester hat ! I have observed 
that Scotch characteristic of " roaring out " confidences 
on board, the voice rising as the revelations deepen in 
interest, and have learned most singular bits of history 
owing to this national peculiarity. 

It was Mrs. Blackie's habit to visit her in Edinburgh 
every Thursday morning when it was possible, and 
these visits were cherished and guarded by both, only 
illness or absence from home being permitted to hinder 
them. Their talks were of deep things, spiritual, 

i86 4 ]- SELF-REPROACH 57 

emotional, intellectual, revelations each to each of 
aspiration and failure. So much we may gather from 
their letters to each other, which often refer to subjects 
touched upon in their weekly converse. 

Miss Bird's frail health had induced habits which at 
this time disturbed her conscience late rising, frequent 
meals, careful protection of her time and strength 
against intrusion, perhaps too marked an avoidance 
of tedious persons and engagements. These were 
Dr. Moir's orders, and were sound sense when she 
was prostrated with recurrent spinal attacks ; but she 
was conscious that they encroached upon her higher 
nature and hindered its growth. 

I feel [she wrote in 1864] as if my life were 
spent in the very ignoble occupation of taking care 
of myself, and that unless some disturbing influences 
arise I am in great danger of becoming perfectly 
encrusted with selfishness, and, like the hero of 
Romola, of living to make life agreeable and its path 
smooth to myself alone. Indeed, this summer I have 
made very painful discoveries on this subject and 
long for a cheerful intellect and self-denying spirit, 
which seeketh not its own and pleaseth not itself. 

It was at this time that she was straining mind 
and hand to provide passages, outfits, and settlement 
for her emigrant crofters. But there was some reason 
for her plaint against herself in that she was not 
able " to suffer fools gladly," and refused them admis- 
sion. Poverty was never repulsed ; she was as 
courteous to a maid-servant as to a countess ; but 
those who were permitted to visit her required some 
qualification, either of usefulness to her work, or of 
affinity. She was inclined at that time to elect and 
select, and to discourage general advances. 

I remember many a bright gathering at No. 3, 
Castle Terrace, when artists, professors, poets, and 


publishers were present. One occasion is specially 
vivid, when Dr. John Brown came, after taking 
precautions against "being mixed up with strong- 
minded women," and when he bandied genial quips 
with Professor Blackie, Dr. Hanna, Mr. Constable, Sir 
Noel Paton, Mr. Fraser Tytler, and Alexander Smith. 

Miss Bird was interested in the Scottish churches 
and their assemblies. Her father's example inclined 
her from the first to large-minded intercourse with 
Presbyterians and Episcopalians alike. As a rule, the 
Birds attended St. Thomas's Church, but they were 
enthusiastic for Dr. Candlish, whose church was near ; 
and Isabella was often to be found in Free St. John's, 
either listening to Dr. Hanna's lectures on the life of 
our Lord, or to Dr. Guthrie's impassioned oratory in the 
afternoon. To Dr. Hanna she owed much, and warmly 
acknowledged his help in the things of the Spirit. 
He could divine her perplexities almost before she 
admitted them, and his courageous treatment, so far 
in advance of that age, of the Life of lives, with its 
reverent devotion to our divine Lord, made his faith 
a fortification to her own. She saw much of him 
during the sixties and seventies, and deplored his 
retirement when health failed him. 

We find her catching the Assembly epidemic and 
attending without prejudice the most interesting 
debates in all three, enjoying especially, in 1865, 
the Innovation Debate in the Established Assembly. 

In the summer of that year Professor Blackie was 
disappointed by the unwillingness of London pub- 
lishers to accept his Homer, issued afterwards by 
Messrs. Edmonstone & Douglas, and her sympathy 
for Mrs. Blackie was warm and spontaneous: 

If am able to comfort you at all, it is that my own 
connection with literary life enables me to enter into 

i86 5 -7] PAPERS ON HYMNS 59 

your sorrow, the keenest element of which is dis- 
appointment for one so truly loved and worthy of 
love. That his book may bring him in the fame 
wherewith you long to see him crowned I earnestly 
desire, and I by no means despair of this, althougn 
I am aware that it will have to fight its way to the 
vantage ground from which it could have started 
if it had been undertaken by Mr. Murray. The 
beautiful way in which the Professor has taken it 
greatly ennobles him, and this and many other such 
conquests and unworldly deeds will ever form his 
most durable and blessed fame. 

She was busy with literary work herself during 
that spring and summer. " I have earned .30 this 
month, and the 'accumulative passion' is wakening. I 
have to complete another paper on hymns by June 5." 

These papers were published in The Sunday Maga- 
zine during parts of 1865, 1866, and 1867. They 
were eight in number, and involved minute research. 
It was after a conversation with Dr. Hanna that, 
astonished at the fulness of her acquaintance with the 
beautiful old hymns of the Church, he suggested the 

The first deals with the " Early Hymns," and begins 
with an allusion to the praises of God sung at the 
world's birth by the morning stars, who heralded 
the hour " when angels bent over the plain of Judea 
to sing the sweetest song that ever pealed over 
our sin-smitten earth when the Babe was born in 
Bethlehem." It speaks of the Gospel hymns (the 
Magnificat, the Benedictus, and the Nunc Dimittis\ 
then of the simple lauds of the post-Apostolic Church, 
and of Syriac and Greek hymns. She gives in great 
part her own translations of those quoted, and the 
paper ends with the hymn sung at the lighting of 
the evening lamp perhaps as early as the first century, 
and preserved by St. Basil, 


Three papers succeed each other in the May, June, 
and July numbers of The Sunday Magazine for 1865, 
and are devoted to " The Latin Hymns of the Church," 
covering the period between St. Jerome in the fourth 
and the decadence after the thirteenth century, and 
indicating the hold which hymns acquired and retained 
in Western Europe. 

Christian poetry became popular [she wrote], and 
wherever Latin Christianity penetrated, hymns were 
the expression of the new thoughts, fears, and hopes 
which were stirring to their depths the souls of men ; 
and in accent and rhyme essentially popular, appeal- 
ing to the ears of all; in their simple rise and fall 
appreciable by all the immortal longings of the new 
Christian life were breathed forth. 

She indicates the stage at which the decaying and 
undevout Church destroyed this form and in Leo X.'s 
time classicised the Latin hymns after the model of 
Horace, and so robbed the people of their heritage; 
and she warns us against accepting as veritable 
productions of the true Church of Christ all the 
quaint and often farcical conceits of monkish hymn- 

In the second paper Miss Bird deals more par- 
ticularly with the exquisite hymns of St. Bernard of 
Clairvaux and St. Bernard of Clugny, of Robert II. 
and other great writers of the twelfth century, and 
amongst them she interpolates one with the more 
personal and subjective character which marks it as 
of later, probably Renaissance, date. This is given in 
her own translation, and may be quoted. 


Fighting the battle of life 

With a weary heart and head ; 
Far in the midst of the strife 

The banners of joy are fled ; 

i86 5 -7] PAPERS ON HYMNS 61 

Fled and gone out of sight, 
When I thought they were so near j 

And the music of hope this night 
Is dying away on my ear. 

Fighting alone to-night 

With not even a stander-by 
To cheer me on in the fight, 

Or to hear me when I cry. 
Only the Lord can hear, 

Only the Lord can see 
The struggle within how dark and drear, 

Though quiet the outside be. 

Lord, I would fain be still 

And quiet behind my shield ; 
But make me to love Thy will, 

For fear I should ever yield. 
Even as now my hands, 

So doth my folded will 
Lie waiting Thy commands 

Without one anxious thrill. 

But as with sudden pain 

My hands unfold and clasp, 
So doth my will start up again 

And taketh its old firm grasp. 
Nothing but perfect trust, 

And love of Thy perfect will, ( if> 

Can raise me out of the dust, 

And bid my fears lie still. 

O Lord, Thou hidest Thy face, 

And the battle-clouds prevail ; 
Q grant me Thy most sweet grace, 

That I may not utterly fail ! 
Fighting alone to-night, 

With what a sickening heart 1 
Lord Jesus, in the fight, 

O stand not Thou apart 1 

The author is unknown, and we can imagine this 
to be the outpouring of some anxious heart awaiting 
trial, for loving Christ better than His perverted 
Church, in Reformation times. The article ends 
with the Hymns of Judgment. 

The concluding paper goes over the ground of 


the whole Latin hymnology, with definite classi- 
fication into Ambrosian, Mediaeval, and Transition 
periods, and concludes with an exquisite reflection 
upon the last : 

For several centuries the Latin Hymns were em- 
phatically " songs of the night," and when the day at 
last dawned it was upon men sitting in the region and 
shadow of death, with death's heavy atmosphere all 
around them. It is not wonderful that the poetry 
should reflect the autumn-time, and that the plaintive 
cry of distress should overpower the murmur of 
thanksgiving, for the spirit of bondage unto fear had 
returned, the " lame hands of faith " which grasped 
the Cross were paralysed by doubt, and the misgivings 
of the fearful were never set at rest, until the river was 
crossed, and the Master's voice of welcome fell upon 
the ears of His trembling servants. 

As we already know, Miss Bird crossed the Atlantic 
in the early spring of 1866 to visit her settlement 
in Canada, so that it was not till May of that year 
that she was able to resume her papers. It is, 
however, advisable to review the series without 
biographical interruption. In that month she con- 
tributed an article on the development of German 
Hymnology and the Reformation and the Revival of 
praise. " It was on the wings of hymns," she wrote, 
" which embodied and popularised the new doctrines, 
that the Reformation flew through Germany. The 
Latin sacred poetry was speedily lost in the German 
Christian lyric." 

She draws attention to the richness of Danish and 
German Protestant Hymnologies two centuries before 
England and Scotland found the "new song." 

In the two succeeding articles she sketched the 
meagre hymnology of the time of Queen Elizabeth, 
whose writers she illustrated with careful quotation. 
She recognised its rare praise, its melancholy, its 


tendency to trivial conceits, its formality, its want 
of spontaneity, its occasional homeliness almost 
verging upon coarseness. 

Miss Bird contributed " The Emblematists " to 
The Sunday Magazine for September, 1867. In this 
paper she deals with Donne, Quarles, and Herbert, 
preferring Dr. John Donne and quoting his "Hymn 
to God the Father," which was " set to a solemn 
and stately tune, and was regularly sung at the con- 
clusion of public worship in St. Paul's." But her 
account of Herbert is naturally more attractive than 
those of Donne and Quarles, and she reminds us 
that his Temple is the prayer-book in poetry. This 
literary work of Miss Bird's, executed at 3 Castle 
Terrace, is characteristic : it was so good, so instructive, 
so well handled and so well written. 

Again a great sorrow awaited her. Mrs. Bird 
had been tempted south the previous autumn, but 
returned from a round of visits greatly exhausted, 
and her daughters were anxious about her all 
winter. In April Dr. Moir suggested a change, and 
she had gone to Bridge of Allan with Henrietta 
during Isabella's brief absence : at first she rallied 
and enjoyed walking and driving. Then a spell 
of bitter east wind undid all the benefit received and 
bronchitis kept her a prisoner till May, when they 
went to Gourock, where a milder climate revived her 
wonderfully. They stayed there till Isabella's 
return, and she joined them for a day or two, driving 
with them to Greenock to see Henrietta on board 
the Clansman, bound for Tobermory, after which 
Isabella took her mother home to 3 Castle Terrace. 
But the east wind was again in full force, and for 
weeks she was very poorly. It was some time 
before she could be persuaded to give up her habit 


of rising at six o'clock, that she might have a long 
time for her morning devotions, but soon there was 
no question of her rising at all. In her last days 
she was much soothed by her daughters singing to 
her her favourite hymns, and on August 14 the end 

She was laid in her grave in the Dean Cemetery, 
and Mr. Bird's coffin was brought from Houghton 
and lowered beside hers. On her headstone were 
engraved her own chosen words : " With Christ, 
which is far better." 

" She has been my one object for the eight years 
of her widowhood," Miss Bird wrote, "and her stimu- 
lating presence has been ever beside me." 

To both sisters her death was a crushing blow, 
and they left Edinburgh for nearly six months, 
Henrietta to Tobermory, Isabella to London, Tun- 
bridge Wells, and Farnham. 

They returned in February, 1867. Mrs. Blackie, 
with tender thoughts for their feelings, went early, 
on the day of their home-coming, to 3 Castle Terrace, 
and with deft touches altered the arrangement of 
their sitting-room, filled vases with flowers and saw 
to the setting of their dinner-table, so that the first 
sight of the vacant place might be tempered with just 
enough of change to spare them too poignant pain. 

Your kindness [wrote Miss Bird] gave us both such 
a singular feeling. Nothing makes a place so like 
home as the presence of those who love us, and in 
returning to Edinburgh I do feel it more homey 
than any other place can be, even apart from its 
sacred memories. We very much like the alterations, 
but we have replaced the sideboard, for its removal 
made the room look too unlike the one in which 
my treasure lived and died. 

While at Farnham Castle with the Bishop of 



Winchester, Miss Bird put into literary shape her 
notes of the tour made in 1860 to the Outer Hebrides, 
for which she had taken sketches on the spot. Both 
she and her sister were artists, Henrietta the finer 
of the two. Her journal made five papers for The 
Leisure Hour of September and October, 1867, which 
record her voyage to North Uist and her visits in 
H.M.S. Shamrock and H.M.S. Rose to South Bernera, 
Barra, Vallay, Baleshere, Benbecula, Grimasay, and 
South Uist, and end sadly : " The islands are but ' a 
fisherman's walk, two steps and overboard/ hummocks 
of rock rising out of desolate, rainy seas, deserts 
without an oasis, the sport of winds and waves." 

Henrietta Bird devoted herself to study more than 
ever. She worked at Hebrew, Greek, and Latin and 
lived her own gentle life, shrinking from Edinburgh 
dinners and parties, but cultivating some quiet 
friendships and giving a radiant welcome to all 
Isabella's visitors. Her artistic power had grown 
with constant practice in the Highlands, and many 
a lovely scene in sunset light or morning glory was 
caught and kept by her skilled hand. There was 
an inspiration in Henrietta as true and almost as 
powerful as in Isabella, but it expressed itself in 
beautiful thoughts and reveries ; in loving deeds that 
her own left hand was not permitted to know ; in 
extraordinary acquaintance with the Scriptures, for 
whose sake she studied both Hebrew and Greek ; in 
poetry and in painting, both arts delicately used to 
utter the expression of her own soul, pure, gentle, 
tender, and self-suppressing. 

Professor and Mrs. Blackie had realised by the 
autumn of 1866 their dream of a Highland home, 
and Altnacraig stood complete on a little plateau 
above the Sound of Kerrera, a place to be remembered 



by all who were honoured with the freedom of its 
gracious hospitality. One of its earliest invited guests 
was Miss Bird, but she could not go that sad autumn, 
and it was wiser for her to refrain from scenes which 
acutely reminded her of the beloved dead. 

Both sisters went to Oban in the summer of 1867 
and visited many old haunts, but Isabella still 
shrank from Altnacraig, for the Professor's house 
was full of guests, and she preferred quiet weeks 
with Miss Clayton, who let her occupy herself 
exactly as she wished to do. She wrote towards 
the close of summer : 

I should not like to be the skeleton at the feast. 
Instead I hope to go with you to Ardrishaig on 
Monday, when I may have a chance of a quiet talk 
with you. Hennie and I have been spending a very 
interesting day at Lismore. No place in the Highlands 
has equally happy associations to me. 

But next year she made out the visit to Altnacraig, 
and a letter written on July 20 suggests how it 
had charmed her: 

Altnacraig is constantly before me in its perfect 
beauty ; it spoils one for everything else. I only 
feel that if I lived there as long as you do I should 
be in danger of practising Edgar Poe's heartless 
maxim " Forget the painful, suppress the disagree- 
able, banish the ugly." My visit was delicious at 
the time and is delicious in memory, as a brief, 
bright episode of peace. Vainly I waved from the 
deck of the Chevalier \ The blue smoke, as from a 
newly lighted fire, curled lazily up from your kitchen 
chimney, your blinds were all drawn, and I mentally 
ejaculated, '"Go to the ant, you sluggards!" It 
looked so lovely, I wished I had just begun my visit. 

During the winter and spring of 1868 Miss Bird 
was occupied with the appalling conditions of the 
Old Town of Edinburgh. The subject came to 


her notice through the work done by Dr. Guthrie's 
Ragged Schools, upon which she had written an 
article for The Leisure Hour in 1861, and her interest 
was quickened by acquaintance with the Pleasance 
Mission and the efforts being made in the Cowgate, 
Cannongate, and Vennel. 

Now that her emigration work was over, she 
turned her special attention to the perplexing problem 
of helping the unhappy denizens of these slums. 
She visited the tenements where they congregated 
in squalor and filth, making little effort at cleanliness, 
since it was hopeless to keep clean what in weariness 
they scrubbed ; for added to the foulness of their 
rooms was a most inadequate water service, and 
they could count on its supply for only three hours 
in each day. Whisky was unlimited, and its taps 
flowed at every corner. It cost money, indeed, but 
then it gave respite in drunken dreams from the 
hideousness of waking life; it meant ruin of body 
and soul, torture of children, hatred of one another, 
brawling and murder, but it also meant excitement, 
that dreadful drama, ever in action on street and stair- 
case, which is so often an absorbing tragedy. And 
all because for generations the poor had been penned 
into what was deemed their proper place, and they 
had matriculated there in vice and misery, making 
perpetual riot, because they had never known what 
cleanliness and peace of soul and body meant. Early 
in 1869 Miss Bird wrote her Notes on Old Edinburgh, 
and spared no detail of the civic shame. 

She put her name as the writer of The English- 
woman in America upon its title-page, and attributed 
to that its great success ; but, indeed, men's minds, 
hearts, and eyes were opening to look upon the 
distressful existence of the masses, and to haste to 


their rescue, and since that time the cause of the 
poor has been the war-cry of an army of God's 
servants. But then philanthropy was only rubbing 
its eyes awake from slumber. It seemed to be 
exclusively the role of great men and women John 
Howard, Elizabeth Fry, Wilberforce, Thomas Guthrie 
and their helpers ; it had not then become a prin- 
ciple in each individual life, as it is growing to be. 
Miss Bird's brain was busy with the problem, and 
schemes for a measure of cleanliness occurred to her 
as possible in the meantime, until town councillors 
and landlords should be coerced into action. So 
she spent five weeks of the winter in London to 
inform herself thoroughly in the details of a practic- 
able project, and visited several wash-houses estab- 
lished in the East End for the convenience of its 
overcrowded population. 

Admiral and Mrs. Otter lent her and her sister 
the manor-house at Oban for a month of the early 
summer of 1869, induced by Dr. Moir's verdict that 
Miss Bird must go to the sea, sleep on the ground 
floor, and be out in a boat most of the day. This 
hospitable offer was accepted from the middle of 
May, and was extended to nearly the end of June, 
as the Otters remained absent from home till then. 
On June 2 she was so much better that Henrietta 
left her to pay some visits in England, and had 
hardly gone when her sister was seized with inflam- 
mation of the throat, and was " as ill as could be 
with choking, aching, leeches, poultices, doctors twice 
a day, etc." 

Fortunately Miss Clayton was able to hasten 
northwards to nurse her, but much of June was 
wasted in illness and spent in her bedroom, which 
happily had a lovely view and received the westering 

,869] MI $S CLAYTON 69 

sunshine. Before June ended she was able to be out 
again, and row gently about the coast and across to 

Before the publication of her Notes on Old Edinburgh, 
by Messrs. Edmonstone & Douglas, much of her time 
was spent with Miss Clayton and the Miss Kers, who 
lived at 28 Rutland Square. Miss Clayton had helped 
to nurse Mrs. Bird in 1866, and was dear to Isabella as 
a sister. Although the flat at 3 Castle Terrace was 
retained till the spring of 1872, her great spinal 
weakness made the stair an obstacle at times of 
greater suffering than usual, and it was Miss 
"Clayton's pleasure to have her as a guest, and to 
nurse her. She was a woman of exceptionally 
bright intelligence, always entering fully into Miss 
Bird's interests, and they enjoyed each other's society. 
When she stayed at 28 Rutland Square, Miss 
Clayton went to her room immediately after break- 
fast, and they had an hour of talk before the 
busy day began. Isabella's energy was a constant 
source of anxiety to Miss Clayton, who used vainly 
to remonstrate with her when she attempted ex- 
peditions for which she seemed bodily unfit, and 
from which she always returned in a state of 
collapse ; and at these vain entreaties Isabella would 
compare her to a mother-hen distracted with the 
doings of her duckling brood, and would call her 
" Hen " in affectionate raillery. 



OF the early summer of 1870 we have but scanty 
record. Henrietta Bird spent July in lodgings at 
Tobermory, but in that month Isabella was at home, 
frail and in pain. Dr. Moir suggested a steel net 
to support her head at the back when she required 
to sit up, her suffering being caused by the weight 
of her head on a diseased spine. During the last 
week of July she was sufficiently relieved by this 
contrivance to take great pleasure in an unexpected 
visit from her cousins Professor Lawson l and his 
elder brother, whom she had not seen for fifteen 

I enjoyed their coming [she wrote to Mrs. Blackie], 
they were so lively and so affectionate and enthusiastic 
about Edinburgh and Scotland. It was so funny, sud- 
denly to find myself playing hostess to two charming 
young men. Hennie has only come home to renew 
her clothes and go back to Tobermory. I spent one 
evening with Lady Emma Campbell, and on Friday 
she brought Sir John McNeill to afternoon tea with 
me. She says that "with her infinite happiness an 
infinite terror is linked I " She is indescribably happy 
and so fascinating all tenderness, womanliness, and 
brightness. Read Studious Women, by Bishop Dupan- 
loup. I like it better than any of the contributions 
to the literature of the women question. Oh, how 
I hate this war all wars I Do not you long for a King 

1 Professor of Botany and Rural Economy at Oxford. 

i8 7 o] APPLECROSS 71 

to come whose title to universal dominion shall be 
Righteousness, and in whose beneficent reign men shall 
learn war no more ? 

During her long days of prostration she read 
incessantly. She had the freedom of Professor 
Blackie's library, and ends this letter with : " Lend 
me the Seven Lamps of Architecture and Matthew 
Arnold's Poems, the volume which contains ' Em- 
pedocles on Etna.' " Later she went first to London, 
and then north, as we learn from Lady Middleton, 
who writes: 

I first knew Isabella Bird in 1870. Travelling up 
to Applecross in the same boat as her sister Henrietta, 
we fraternised, and she told me Miss Bird was coming 
up to visit a " ladies' school " on the Applecross estate. 
I told my mother-in-law, who invited her to make 
Applecross House her hotel for the two or three days 
she required to be on the place. From that time 
began a friendship that lasted notwithstanding gaps 
sometimes of years in contact of communication till 
her death. 

Mrs. Bishop's first letter to Lady Middleton then 
the Hon. Mrs. Willoughby supplements this earliest 
of many recollections and gives a detailed account 
of her project for helping the Edinburgh poor. It 
is also interesting for its allusion to Miss Gordon 
Gumming, whom she met for the first time at 
Applecross, and with whom she maintained a warm 
and admiring friendship in after years. 

The letter is dated September 29, 1870, from 
Balmacarra House, Ross-shire : 

,.,.; P" ;*/ j? . ' ,' > ' " , . ' ; i i ( ""'*> v'v > - 

I received your very welcome note on my arrival 
here from Loch Hourn, but a wretched cold which 
continues to stultify my intellect has prevented me 
from answering it. I wished to say, in answer to 
your generous thought, that since my " wicked book " 
\_Notes on Old Edinburgh] was written, several taps or 
spigots have been placed in closes, which formerly 


depended on that one well ; also that in the present 
state of things, with six reservoirs out of seven abso- 
lutely dry, and rich as well as poor dependent on a 
supply during only three hours of the day, the new 
water-trust is unable to sanction even the erection of 
a drinking-fountain, much less such a well as you so 
kindly propose. So the poor must continue to suffer 
and to slake their thirst with the whisky which stimu- 
lated it, till true notions of love and justice control the 
wretched landlords, who are making wealth out of 
the dismal dens which they call "house property." 
In the meantime, owing to the " city improvements," 
which consist in pulling down the old houses and 
building handsome, high-rented streets on their 
sites, the overcrowding is worse even than it was 
when I described it. Several thousand pounds are 
forthcoming for the purpose of either rendering habit- 
able the substantial stone carcases of these old houses, 
or of building new ones, as may seem most feasible 
the rents of rooms fit to be human abodes not to 
exceed the rent demanded for these dark and airless 
lairs. But renovating and building alike take time. 
I am anxious to set a-going some means of temporary 
relief of two kinds. First, to hire rooms in several 
of the lowest quarters of the town, and fit each room 
with a portable boiler, a mangle, an ironing-stove, and 
ironing-boards. This can be done, I learned in London, 
for 50 a room. These wash-houses should be open 
to twelve or more women every day on paying for 
their soap and a trifle for fuel, thus enabling our very 
poorest to have clean clothes without the difficulty of 
getting water and without the misery and unwhole- 
someness of the steam of half-washed clothes in their 
dark and crowded rooms. If I can get 100 I shall 
lose no time in trying to start a wash-house in the 
Grass Market. The other plan (which I saw being 
successfully worked in the East of London) is to open 
a wash-house with the necessary appliances for taking 
in washing for the poor at sixpence a dozen. This 
furnishes a labour test also, as no women who are not 
industrious as well as poor will wash such clothes at 
15. ^d. per day. ... I wonder whether your aunt 
knows ladies of devotion and administrative ability, 
who would learn to organise and work the last 
scheme. When I went five weeks ago to investigate 

i8?o] NEW FRIENDS 73 

it in London, I was proud of our Church for being able 
to produce ladies who undertook such odious details. 
. . . How delightful it is that I have been able to 
interest you\ I got to Broadford by the railroad 
steamer, and fraternised with Mr. Tosh and two 
ladies at the inn there. The next day was the 
communion, and I greatly enjoyed the sight ; three 
thousand people were present. On Monday I went 
to Glenelg, and had a splendid drive of thirteen miles 
along an awful road to Arnisdale, far up Loch Hourn. 
I longed for your aunt [Miss Gordon Gumming], for 
the scenery was grand beyond all description, such 
richness and depth as well as brilliancy both of local 
and atmospheric colouring. My sister joined me at 
Glenelg, and we came on here on the 2oth. ... I 
cannot tell how happily those two days passed at 
Applecross, or how grateful I feel to you for making 
me acquainted with yourself and Lady Middleton and 
her family. It is indeed a delight, not to be forgotten, 
the seeing such a happy and beautiful family life. 
Among the enjoyments of those two days I do not 
forget my acquaintance with your aunt, which is to 
be renewed, I hope, in the winter. As I saw you all 
grouped at the door, I wondered how it was that I 
telt so much regret at parting with people whose 
acquaintance I had only made three days previously. 

Miss Gordon Gumming had just returned from 
India, Egypt, and Malta, as she tells us in her recently 
published Memories, and was staying at Applecross. 
She remembers how 

One morning Lady Middleton announced that she 
had to take a somewhat distant expedition by boat to 
fetch a lady who was doing a tour of inspection of 
schools in the Highlands and Islands, which she was 
accomplishing in the simplest manner, walking or 
boating from point to point, and having sometimes to 
make the best of very rough quarters. In the evening 
Lady Middleton returned accompanied by a tiny and 
very quiet little lady, and we all wondered at her 
pluck in undertaking such arduous journeying all 
alone. I was at that time writing my very big book, 
From the Hebrides to the Himalayas, being keenly 


interested in various points of resemblance between 
the old customs of both races, and my large portfolio 
of Indian sketches gave daily amusement to all visitors. 
Naturally, Miss Bird was interested in these subjects, 
but she had to hurry away to inspect more schools. 

Lady Middleton goes on to say : 

When I first knew her, she was a very extraordinary 
woman. Her quiet, slow, deliberate manner of speech 
might have been a little tedious in one less gifted ; but 
when the measured sentences at last came forth, you 
felt they had been worth waiting for. She had very 
projecting upper teeth then, and they may have 
affected her utterance, but she had the pluck to have 
them replaced. 

This tour in the Highlands included the examination 
of eleven schools altogether, and she was surprised to 
find how efficiently the children were taught in those 
remote and often lonely places. 

Next winter, Henrietta was busy with Greek, for 
Professor Blackie had begun his class for ladies, whilst 
Isabella was obliged to go to London to see a specialist, 
who sent her home " to stay in bed and keep as quiet 
as if I had a fever," so for a time she saw no one, went 
nowhere, and rested the greater part of the twenty- 
four hours. Perhaps her autumn exertions brought 
on this collapse. The old insomnia returned, and her 
nervous system was affected. A constant distress 
assailed her spirits and kept her in mental as well as 
physical anguish. When sleep returned, and with it 
relief from this depression, she gave utterance to her 
experience in a beautiful poem, well known to her 
most intimate friends, and comforting to many. 


Fevered by long unrest, of conflict weary, 
Sickened by doubt, writhing with inward pain, 

My spirit cries from out the midnight dreary 
For the old long-lost days of peace again. 

i8 7 o] "OUT OF THE DEPTHS" 75 

Gone is my early Heaven, with all its radiant story 
Of fiery throne and glassy sea, and sapphire blaze, 

Its white-robed throng, palm-bearing, crowned with golden glory, 
Its ceaseless service of unhindered praise. 

Vanished my early faith, with all its untold treasure 

Of steadfast calm and questionless repose 
Bartered away lost for a heaped-up measure 

Of strife and doubt and fears and mental woes. 

No Light 1 no Life 1 no Truth ! now from my soul for ever 
The last dim star withdraws its glimmering ray ; 

Lonely and hopeless, never on me, oh never, 
Shall break the dawn of the long-looked-for day. 

Rudder and anchor gone, on through the darkness lonely 

I drift o'er shoreless seas to deeper night, 
Drifting, still drifting oh, for one glimmer only, 

One blessed ray of Truth's unerring light ! 

Out of the depths I cry my anguished soul revealing, 

" Light in the darkness shining ! shed Thy life-giving ray : 
Low at Thy cross I fall, I plead for aid and healing, 

Christ ! reveal Thyself and turn my night to day ! " 

The prayer is heard, else why this strange returning 

To stranger peace, to calm unknown before? 
The peace of doubt dispelled, the calm of vanquished yearning, 

A deeper, truer rest than that of yore. 

O Saviour- Man 1 Priest, but in garments royal ! 

Thyself the Truth ! Thyself the inner life ! 
While at Thy feet I kneel in homage loyal, 

1 hear unmoved the weary din of strife. 

The din of impious men, for ever thronging 

The sacred threshold of the unrevealed 
Smitten with blindness, and the hopeless longing 

To force the door which Thou Thyself hast sealed. 

Farewell, my early Heaven ! Brighter the life victorious 
Of which Thou art the joy, the breath, the light ; 

While on Thy throne, the Church, Thy Bride most glorious 
Beside Thee sits, arrayed in mystic white. 

Farewell, my early faith I Better the trust unshaken 
With which in child-like love I grasp Thy pierced hand, 

Child-like to learn of Thee, until I waken 

Blest with Thy likeness in Thine own bright land. 

Content to wait, till days of darkened vision 

And lisping speech and childish thought are done, 

And knowledge vanishes in faith's fruition 

As fading stars before the morning sun. I. L. B. 


When spring came she was sufficiently restored to 
see friends and to write a little. It was early in 1871 
that she began a series of papers on eighteenth- 
century hymn-writers, Wesley, Watts, Cowper, and 

Miss Cullen was privileged to see her often, when 
her weakness forbade visits from others, and she and 
Miss Clayton were much with her during those months 
of retirement. 

The Rev. George Cullen, too, was a welcome 
friend. He had co-operated with her in all her 
work for others, the emigration from Skye, the 
effort to do something to relieve the wretchedness 
of the poor. He was endeared to both sisters by 
his regard for their mother, and he had officiated at 
her funeral in the Dean Cemetery, reading a passage 
from Scripture which Henrietta pointed out perhaps 
that from which was chosen the line upon her tomb- 
stone Phil. i. 20-24. If so, it was Mrs. Bird's own 
choice, for by her wish the words were engraved, 
"To be with Christ, which is far better." 

His early correspondence with Miss Bird has 
been mentioned, and his own account of it, written 
in 1880, explains it: 

In 1858, when trying by the formation of the Union 
Prayer Meeting to carry out a resolution which I had 
formed in Malvern during the Mutiny in India, I 
had to collect and send out intelligence of the Revival 
in America and elsewhere. Among other sources of 
information I prized greatly the letters that appeared 
in The Patriot newspaper, from a lady. When after- 
wards I was asked to prepare a summary of this intel- 
ligence for very extensive circulation, I drew largely 
from these letters. On publication of the pamphlet, 
I wished to send a copy to the writer, but not knowing 
her address I forwarded it to the editor of the news- 
paper. It reached the lady, and in a very short time 

i8 7 2] VOYAGE TO NEW YORK 77 

I heard from her from a rectory in Huntingdonshire, 
and this led to a correspondence with Miss Bird and 
with her excellent father. 

It seems to have been about autumn-time that 
Dr. Moir and Dr. Grainger Stewart urged her to 
take a sea-voyage. She chose a short one, for she 
felt unwilling to leave her sister and home for more 
than a few months. They decided to give up the 
flat at the May term of 1872, as the possibility of 
further absences and Henrietta's growing attach- 
ment to Tobermory made its retention almost an 

Miss Bird engaged a berth through Mr. Dunlop 
in a steamer bound for New York, and chartered 
to go up the Mediterranean on its return, in order 
to visit ports in Italy, Algeria, Spain, and Portugal 
before making for Liverpool. She was furnished 
with an introduction to Mr. James Robertson by 
Mr. Thomas Nelson, whose publishing firm Mr. 
Robertson represented in New York. When the 
steamer arrived he called on her, and finding her 
living on board, he invited her to stay at his house 
during the few weeks of detention. But she was 
too ill to make much use of her visit, and returned 
from the trip less benefited than her doctors had 

Her sister had become much attached to Tobermory, 
where she stayed part of every summer with her 
friends Mr. and Mrs. Macfarlane, at the Baptist 
Manse. Mr. Macfarlane was, however, now " trans- 
lated " to Tiree, so she made arrangements with 
Mrs. Thomson, of Ulva Cottage, whither she trans- 
ferred her belongings, and there, in an upper room, 
she stayed as long as the summer permitted. It was 
not till 1874 that she found quarters in Strongarbh 


Cottage, which two years later she rented from the 
Free Church of Tobermory. After giving up 3 Castle 
Terrace, and seeing her sister off to Mull, Miss Bird 
started again for a more prolonged cruise, under 
orders to shift the scene as much as possible, and 
to remain within the curative influences of sea and 
mountain air. Mr. Dunlop made her arrangements, 
and she left Edinburgh for Australia on July 11, 
1872, for an absence prolonged to eighteen months 
desolate at parting with Henrietta, and quoting in 
her diary the rebellious cry: "All his days he eateth 
in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath 
with his sickness." 

Early next morning the steamer left its anchorage, 
and she had to conquer a strong impulse to quit 
and go back before it was fairly under way. For 
weeks she was dejected, dull, and uncomfortable ; 
but when the line was crossed, and the weather 
grew cool with favouring winds, she began to take 
an interest in her fellow passengers and to bring her 
work upon deck. It was an elaborate piece of bead- 
work, which she found rather inconvenient, but 
pursued to the finish. Then in September she 
caught a chill, and was so prostrated that the 
captain thought she was dying. There were many 
disagreeables to add to her suffering loud quarrels, 
noisy complaints, a dirty stewardess, and, above all, 
vile conversation only too audible. It was not till 
Saturday, October 5, that she reached Melbourne, 
where she was met and hospitably housed by friends 
to whom she bore an introduction. She stayed nearly 
two months in Australia, experiencing all its varieties 
of weather dust-storms, drought, and rain ; and, 
except for much hospitality, not greatly appreciating 
its life, scenery, and sights. The bush interested 

i8 73 ] THE SEA 79 

her most, and she notes its gum, acacia, bottlebrush, 
and blackwood trees. 

On November 28 she left for Invercargill in a 
small crowded steamer, its decks loaded with a cargo 
of sheep and horses, and, what was worse, with a lunatic 
in the berth next to hers. But a week later she 
changed steamers at Port Chalmers and went on to 
Dunedin, where Mr. Blair met her and took her to an 
hotel. New Zealand must have been at its worst that 
summer at the Antipodes, for she has no good word to 
say of it, although she liked its people greatly and 
visited both the Otago and Canterbury settlements 
thoroughly. Heat and dust prevailed, and she was 
appalled by the drunkenness everywhere. 

She left for the Sandwich Islands on January i, 1873, 
and after an adventurous voyage in an unseaworthy 
vessel, described in her book Six Months in the Sandwich 
Islands, she reached Honolulu on January 25, and 
took up her quarters at the Hawaiian Hotel. That, by 
this time, she was in much better health is evidenced 
by her enjoyment of the voyage, one which at several 
stages threatened danger. When she was well she 
delighted in the sea, and a letter written to Mrs. Blackie 
about this time contains a rapturous passage on its 
attractions : 

At last [she wrote] I am in love, and the old sea-god 
has so stolen my heart and penetrated my soul that 
I seriously feel that hereafter, though I must be else- 
where in body, I shall be with him in spirit ! My two 
friends on board this ship have several times told me 
that I have imbibed the very spirit of the sea. It is to 
me like living in a new world, so free, so fresh, so vital, 
so careless, so unfettered, so full of interest that one 
grudges being asleep; and, instead of carrying cares and 
worries and thoughts of the morrow to bed with one 
to keep one awake, one falls asleep at once to wake 
to another day in which one knows that there can be 


nothing to annoy one no door-bells, no "please mems," 
no dirt, no bills, no demands of any kind, no vain 
attempts to overtake all one knows one should do. 
Above all, no nervousness, and no conventionalities, 
no dressing. It sounds a hideously selfish life, but in 
the inevitably intimate association of people in all cir- 
cumstances for months of almost entire isolation, 
human relations spring up and human interests and in 
some instances warm feelings of regard, which have 
a tendency to keep selfishness in a degree under. 

AU the world knows how this delight extended to 
her land adventures in the Sandwich Islands, whose 
marvels of scenery, volcanic mountains in action, 
valleys, forests, rivers and coasts, glorious vegetation, 
and political social and religious life fascinated her 
into a residence of seven months. 

From the Sandwich Islands she sailed to America, 
spent some months at a Sanatorium in the Rocky 
Mountains, achieved her famous ride and then made 
her way to New York and stayed with Mr. and Mrs. 
Robertson till her steamer sailed for Liverpool. 

All her detailed letters were written to Henrietta, 
who kept them carefully. A small group of her most 
intimate friends had the privilege of reading them 
Miss Clayton, Miss Cullen, Mrs. Blackie, sometimes 
Mrs. Smith, widow of the author of a book widely read 
in its day, The Conflict of Opinions, and a woman 
endowed herself with gifts of mind and heart, who 
could value those of Miss Bird. 

She wrote to Mr. Murray from Black Cafion, 
Colorado, on December 13, 1873, respecting these 
letters : 

The seven months in the Sandwich Islands was a 
period of the most intense interest and fascination. . . . 
I wrote journal letters to my sister of a highly de- 
scriptive kind, and even with the disadvantage of 
laborious accuracy. They are enthusiastic enough to 


have awakened a great deal of enthusiasm amongst my 
friends at home, and they are very anxious that I 
should publish my experiences, on the ground that 
there is no modern book of travels in Hawaii-nei worth 
anything, and that my acquaintance with the islands 
is thorough enough to justify me in giving it to the 

Dr. Blaikie had tried to secure the letters for 
Good Words, but Miss Bird felt them to be worthy 
of a less fragmentary mode of publication. 

On her final return to Edinburgh the sisters took 
lodgings at 17 Melville Street, and there Mr. Murray's 
answer reached her. He requested further details 
of her wishes as to the scheme of a book on the 
Sandwich Islands, and she replied at once giving 
her reasons for retaining the epistolary form, adding 
that she had made some sketches and collected 
photographs, plans, and maps sufficient for illustration, 
material enough altogether for an octavo volume. 
At this time she would have preferred her Rocky 
Mountains letters to be combined with those from 
the Sandwich Islands, but deferred to Mr. Murray's 
opinion that they should be published separately. 

Her immediate work therefore was the revision 
of her letters, the excision of a mass of personal 
details, the verification and correction of her statistics, 
and the copying of the whole into a form fitting for 
Mr. Murray's perusal and verdict. 

During this lengthy process she spent some time 
in Oban and in Tobermory, delighted with the 
cottage. Then, called south by her relatives and 
friends, she left for London about the middle of 
May. There she paid Mrs. Rundle Charles a visit 
in Hampstead, heard a debate in the House of 
Commons, and a fine sermon by Dr. McGee, Bishop 
of Peterborough, in Westminster Abbey, visited 



Kew Gardens for the first time and to her great 
delight. " They are truly stately," she wrote to 
Mrs. Blackie, "and the tropical houses satisfied my 
soul with the beauty and redundancy of the tropical 

From London she went to stay with Mrs. Brown 
at Houghton, and had a week's boating on the Ouse, 
which proved " even better than I anticipated, the 
restored old churches are ravishing, and all that 
Cowperian country was home to me ; its soft, dreamy 
beauty of great trees and green meadows, and a 
silvery, lilied river, was entirely perfect." 

When she wrote this letter she was staying at 
Knoyle Rectory, near Salisbury, with her cousin 
Mrs. Milford, the Bishop of Winchester's daughter, 
and was resting with deep appreciation of the absolute 
peace of a sweet English home. It enabled her to 
complete about two-thirds of her manuscript, which 
she forwarded to Mr. Murray on June 17, 1874. He 
accepted it for publication, pending her completion 
of the work and the arrival of maps and illustrations, 
which at the time were rounding Cape Horn. 

In July she returned to London and stayed with 
her aunt, Mrs. Harrington Evans. It was on this 
occasion that her teeth broken in the Rockies were 
replaced, an alteration for the better in many ways, 
although she declared that the absence of her natural 
front teeth detracted from the cheerfulness of her 
expression ! 

Plans for three weeks by the Ouse and for a 
pleasant family gathering at Seaton Carew were 
upset by Miss Clayton's wishing Miss Bird to join 
her and other friends in Switzerland. So Henrietta, 
who had joined her in London, returned to Tober- 
mory, and Isabella started on July 29 for Hospenthal. 

I874 ] MR. NUGENT 83 

On the evening before her journey she received from 
America news which made her indescribably sad. Her 
guide in the Rocky Mountains, known as " Mountain 
Jim," was a Mr. Nugent, a man of good birth and 
university education, who had unhappily yielded to 
ruinous habits and had drifted down to the precarious 
freedom of a trapper's life by 1873, when she met him. 
His intercourse with her during the weeks of her 
enterprise brought out all that was good and gracious 
in the man, and his care, forethought, and experience 
smoothed away difficulties which might otherwise 
have deterred even her extraordinary courage. Her 
influence over him was wonderful. He surrendered 
every evil habit, drinking, swearing, quarrelling, 
murderous fighting, and became what he was meant 
to be a considerate gentleman, sympathetic and 
helpful in all her interests. When she had to bid him 
farewell at Namaqua, Mr. Nugent broke down com- 
pletely. " I shall see you again," he reiterated. " I 
must see you again." She spoke very gently to 
him about the one influence which redeems from 
sin and fortifies the repentant sinner, and repeated 
to him a text to keep ever in his remembrance, as 
a reminder to the unhappy man, whom her gentleness 
had restored to a measure of self-respect. Then 
they promised each other that after death, if it were 
permitted, the one taken would appear to the other. 
This parting gave her great pain, but she felt that 
Mr. Nugent had undertaken to live a new life and 
that she could help him by prayer and by her letters. 
Nearly a year had passed. Mr. Nugent's letters 
gave evidence of continued steadiness. Then sud- 
denly, on July 25, came the distressing news that 
he was dead. Insulted by a man named Evans, he 
was overcome by rage, and the Welshman shot him 


under the impression that " Mountain Jim " was 
about to murder him. He deeply regretted his tragic 
mistake and carried him into his own house, where, 
contrary to the first report that he had been killed 
outright, he lingered for ten days. Miss Bird went 
to Switzerland full of the distressing conviction that 
Jim had died unrepentant, and occupied with the 
remembrance of their mutual promise. 

From Hospenthal an almost immediate move was 
made to Interlaken, and there one morning as she 
lay in bed, half unnerved by the shock of his death 
and half expectant, she saw " Mountain Jim," in 
his trapper's dress just as she had seen him last, 
standing in the middle of her room. He bowed 
low to her and vanished. Then one of her friends 
came into the room and she told her what had just 
occurred. When exact news of his death arrived, 
its date coincided with that of the vision. 

Torrents of rain made her stay at Interlaken very 
dreary, and she was not sorry to return to London 
by the middle of September, and thence to go to her 
sister at Tobermory till November, when they took 
up winter quarters at 7 Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh. 
Mr. Murray decided to postpone the publication of 
Six Months in the Sandwich Islands till February, 1875, 
as several new books were to appear in November. 

I thoroughly appreciate [she wrote] the reasons 
you give for delaying the publication of my book, 
and have pleasure in deferring to your experienced 
wisdom. I have seen small craft swamped in the 
swell of larger steamers before now. 

When it came out it met with the most cordial 
reception ; men of science, as well as the reading 
public, thanked her for the valuable addition made 


by her to the sum of knowledge ; and appreciative 
reviews appeared in all the leading journals. 

Indeed, her extraordinary power of observation 
had grasped so much of the natural history of the 
Hawaiian Archipelago, and particularly such an 
infinite number of details concerning its active vol- 
canoes, that the islands were for the first time made 
intelligible. It is not surprising, therefore, that 
Nature reviewed the book with warmth not unmingled 
with astonishment, and that members of the scientific 
societies wrote to her with admiring congratula- 
tions. But apart from its valuable contributions to 
the physical geography, the mineral products, the 
botanical redundancy of Hawaii-nei, Six Months in the 
Sandwich Islands has a charm of narrative very rare 
in books of travel, a charm doubtless due to the 
freshness of impressions committed to language before 
they had time to fade into an outline. 

Perhaps the result is less artistic, as a whole, than 
a well-considered plan of record might have been. 
Details are scarcely less prominent than the main 
facts, and the reader becomes wearied at times of 
reiterated lists of forest trees and mountain scrub. 
But the facts are in themselves so important, and so 
graphically presented, that they take firm hold of the 
memory, whilst the repetitions lose themselves in a 
general haze of atmosphere, cliffs, forest, and ferns. 

It would have been undesirable even for a traveller 
of a prosaic mind who had seen all that Miss Bird 
had seen to attempt to relate his experiences in cold- 
blooded literary form, with due regard for perspective, 
and balance of values ; but, for a person of her tem- 
perament and personality, such a course was im- 
possible. Not only are the records of her impressions 
of lighter things bright and sparkling, but even the 


dry bones of her narrative are clothed in so attractive 
and picturesque a veil as to become interesting and 

The literary charm of every paragraph and sentence 
is obvious, and one reads the book to-day with the 
same eagerness with which one devoured it in 1875. 
The vividness of her style is shown in the following 
passage on p. 222, a description of the lao valley 
in Mani : 

The trail leads down a gorge dark with forest trees, 
and opens out into an amphitheatre, walled in by 
precipices from three to six thousand feet high, misty 
with a thousand waterfalls, planted with kukuis, and 
feathery with ferns. A green-clad needle of stone, one 
thousand feet in height, the last refuge of an army 
routed when the Wailuku ran red with blood, keeps 
guard over the valley. Other needles there are ; and 
mimic ruins of bastions, ramparts, and towers came 
and passed mysteriously; and the shining fronts of 
turrets gleamed through trailing mists, changing into 
drifting visions of things that came and went in sun- 
shine and shadow mountains raising battered peaks 
into a cloudless sky, green crags moist with ferns, and 
mists of water that could not fall, but frittered them- 
selves away on slopes of maidenhair, and depths of 
forest and ferns in which bright streams warble 
through the summer years. Clouds boiling up from 
below drifted at times across the mountain fronts, or 
lay like snow-masses in the unsunned chasms ; and 
over the grey crags and piled-up pinnacles and 
glorified green of the marvellous vision lay a veil of 
thin blue haze, steeping the whole in a serenity which 
seemed hardly to belong to earth. 

Miss Bird had to pay the penalty of all popular 
authors. Letters from the dreary fellowship of bores 
assailed her. Of one she wrote : 

He has laid before me, with the prolixity of a vale- 
tudinarian, a whole host of symptoms fitted for the 
consideration of a physician, given me a personal 

,8753 CABMEN'S REST 87 

narrative of twelve years, and asks eventually if the 
climate of Honolulu would suit his case, and if I can 
supply him with a tabular view of the amount of damp 
in the atmosphere for any given six months. 

In the same letter she mentions that an order for 
fifty copies had arrived from Honolulu, and that one 
of the Professors at Punshan was giving three readings 
daily from her book. 

She was in wonderful health and spirits that spring; 
busied with histology lessons at the Botanical Gar- 
dens, which occupied six hours weekly, for a month ; 
entertaining Canadian and American friends ; correct- 
ing the proofs of Miss Gordon Cumming's book ; 
attending the Assemblies in May, and giving three large 
" Kettledrums " during the week of their session. She 
was full of new plans, too, for the help of others, and 
wrote letters to all the Town Councillors regarding 
a " Cabmen's Rest and Refreshment Room," which 
Mrs. Willoughby and she desired to erect. The 
tenement scheme and the wash-houses had fallen 
through the former for want of official support, the 
latter for lack of a lady qualified to manage them 
and willing to give up her time. As she wrote to 
Mrs. Willoughby : 

The difficulty lies simply in the fact that no lady 
has come forward to take up and work the scheme. 
Every one approves it and thinks it would supply a 
great need ; and were any one found to work it, 
money would be at once forthcoming, but this initial 
difficulty remains in full force. It would take the 
whole time and energy of one lady, and apparently 
" dirty clothes " do not inspire enthusiasm. 

There were many difficulties, too, in the way of 
the Cabmen's Rest, and a labyrinth of committees to 
traverse before a site could be granted. 


On June 7 Miss Bird and her sister left Edinburgh 
for Beauly, from which place they drove seventeen 
miles to Strathglass in a public conveyance crammed 
with fourteen country-people not altogether sober. 
They settled at Glen Affric Hotel for a month, a 
lonely spot in the midst of a Roman Catholic and 
Gaelic-speaking population. The fatiguing journey 
brought on pain and sleeplessness, and a whole week 
passed without an effort to walk or drive. But she 
had her microscope and its many adjuncts with her, 
and the friendly landlady gave her a small, empty 
room, which she arranged as a study, and there she 
rested and worked, much absorbed with microscopic 

She was revising her notes on the Highlands as 
well, correcting the place-names with the aid of 
local gamekeepers, and sent Mr. Murray the results 
on July 7, to assist him in a new edition of his 
" Handbook." 

A letter from him cordially congratulated her on 
the success of her book ; the large edition was nearly 
exhausted, and favourable reviews were still arriving. 
They went to Oban and Tobermory about July 8, 
and a few weeks later Miss Bird left her sister to 
pay visits in the south, her first stage being Knoyle 
Rectory, near Salisbury, from which address she 
wrote to Mrs. Willoughby, giving her some account 
of the Town Council's delays : 

I wrote to the Edinburgh Town Clerk proposing 
to meet the City Committee on Saturday, September 4, 
on my way through Edinburgh, and he replied that 
he feared it was impossible to collect a quorum at 
this season, and that it would be best to postpone 
the conference till November. In one respect I was 
not sorry, because, as the money is of your raising, 
I should not have liked to hand over the " Rest " 


without your sanction ; but in another I am much 
vexed, because the " Rest " ought to have been ready 
by November, and, even if everything goes as it ought, 
these vexatious delays will postpone its erection till 
January. In the meantime 1 shall see some of the 
Bristol and London Rests. 

Mrs. Willoughby was at Franzensbad at the time, 
and when she returned to Yorkshire was in frequent 
correspondence with Miss Bird about the "Rest" and 
about the proofs of Miss Gordon Cumming's book, 
which Isabella was still correcting and revising, as 
their author was in the Fijian Isles during the pro- 
cesses of publication. She carried the proofs with 
her to London and Tunbridge Wells, and back again 
to London, till the beginning of November, when 
they were transferred to Major Grant Stephen for 
the latest Indian orthography. 

Her independent headquarters in town were at 
16 Oakley Square, near her North London relatives 
and friends; from which point she made excursions 
on foot and by train eastwards and westwards, 
chiefly to scientific haunts amongst microscopes, 
which " filled her brain," spending hours daily in 
this pursuit. Twelve visits in all were accomplished 
before she returned to Edinburgh in November, and 
it is not surprising that she was at once invalided 
and condemned to bed and seclusion till New Year's 
Day. Reviews of her book were continuous till the 
end of 1875, and her rank amongst the foremost 
writers of travel and adventure was conclusively 
established. It was to the point, too, considering 
the cheap incredulity of some of her more ignorant 
reviewers, that a number of letters came from Hono- 
lulu and other parts of Hawaii-nei, testifying most 
emphatically to the Accuracy of her book, and 


endorsing both her facts and her inductions. Her 
gratification is expressed in a letter to Mr. Murray : 

I assure you I am beginning to think it rather a 
nice book! Seriously, there has been nothing but 
what is pleasant connected with it; and as it has been 
so very pleasant to me, I am glad that you are in a 
measure satisfied with its sale. 

Her suffering from pleurodynia lasted most of 
January, 1876, but she was able to write and study 
soon after New Year's Day. 

The " Cabmen's Shelter," as it was finally called, 
was in process of building in Princes Street, near 
Sir Walter Scott's monument, and it was opened on 
the 3ist, welcomed cordially by the Edinburgh press, 
and enthusiastically by the cabmen. But Miss Bird 
had to battle once more for her scheme, as the 
incredible Town Council wished to hand over the 
building to the men themselves, without an attendant 
to clean, cook meals, and keep it in order. She was 
forced to insist upon their keeping to the contract, 
which she had drawn up and to which they had 
agreed. In this conflict of wills hers triumphed, and 
she could write to Mrs. Willoughby on March 5th : 

The Shelter and Coffee-room has now been opened 
for a month, and the cabmen seem as much at home 
in its use as if they had had it for ten years. About 
thirty-five take their meals there, and it does look so 
cheerful. So far, it has worked more smoothly than 
I expected. ... I wish much that the 17 which 
remains in the bank after paying for everything should 
go towards another shelter, and I doubt not you will 
wish the same. 

And she added a graphic account of her victory : 

I had been asked at the Town Council whether I was 
empowered to act for you, and replied that I was ; but 
when I got the Town Clerk's letter, I wrote that 
I declined to act further and should refer to you. 

i8 7 6] THE TOWN COUNCIL 91 

On hearing from you, I wrote a very strong letter to 
the Council, enclosing yours, and saying that if the 
magistrates now turned round against our plan of 
refreshments we should withdraw the Shelter and 
place it in Glasgow. The following morning, at the 
meeting of magistrates, our ultimatum was read, and 
the wretches were in such hot haste to undo their 
work that they did not even take time to send a 
written intimation, but sent down the same city 
official who had bullied me the week before to say 
that they had unanimously conceded all we asked. 
He was oily in his manners and profuse in his 
explanations, but I drew myself up to my full height 
of 4 ft. nj in. and told him politely that after the 
difficulties which had occurred it would be essential 
to have an official intimation in writing of the decision 
of the magistrates. This came in an hour. 

Gog and Magog quailed before scarce five feet of 
superb will. She was most anxious that all the credit 
of this Cabmen's Shelter should rest with Mrs. 
Willoughby, and even wrote to The Scotsman to explain 
for whom she was acting ; but Lady Middleton 
earnestly disclaims any share except that of finding 
funds. By the middle of March they were both 
delighted to get a financial report of its five weeks' 
trial, which proved that it was self-supporting, a fact 
endorsing the cabmen's appreciation. Miss Bird was 
a capital woman of business, and all her philanthropic 
work was based on minute calculations of its likelihood 
to secure, from those benefited, an honourable and self- 
respecting contribution towards its maintenance 
surely the most vital form of philanthropy, since it 
breeds no race of torpid, expectant, mendicants. What 
modern charity lacks is intelligent financing; a lack 
which, happily, men are beginning to realise. 

She cherished a fanciful mood at this time wishing 
to give up literature for study, which meant micro- 
scopes. It seemed to her almost wrong to continue 


a pursuit which delighted her in the doing and 
brought her praise and profit when done. Fortunately 
editors and publishers intervened. Early in April she 
was engaged in revising and correcting Six Months 
in the Sandwich Islands for Mr. Murray, who proposed 
to publish a cheaper edition, slightly abridged, and 
with its statistics brought up to date. She had, too, 
an accumulation of commissions for different magazines, 
and was anxious to redeem her engagements to their 
editors, delayed by her illness. 

Henrietta came out third in Professor Blackie's 
examination of his Greek class for ladies, and was 
worn out by her exertions. In April she went to 
Tobermory for three weeks, while Isabella stayed 
on, writing busily. She was in Edinburgh all June, 
although her toils were relaxed ; and various social 
doings are reported in her letters. 

I only once dined at home the whole month of June. 
I went one Quaker picnic to the top of the Pentlands 
and another to Winton, descending at n at night, 
and also went up the highest Pentland on horseback ! 
I was for four days at Dreghorn and three with the 
Miss Mackenzies at Eastland Hill, near Inverkeithing. 
I saw dear Mrs. Nichol several times. I had some 
very pleasant microscopy with Dr. McKendrick, and 
also with Dr. Bishop, whose noble character compels 
one's increasing and respectful admiration. 

It was not till July 11 that she went south, 
beginning a round of visits at Settrington House, 
near York, where she stayed a week with Mr. and 
Mrs. Willoughby. Here she was very happy. Her 
hostess loved her and used to call her " dear little soul." 
" She was fond of the name," writes Lady Middleton, 
" but it was not apt, for it was her body that was 
Uttle arid her soul big ! " 

i8 7 6] IONA 93 

While at Settrington, Miss Bird wrote to Mrs. 
Blackie : 

You have seen my hostess, and when I tell 
you that her soul is as noble and rich as her 
appearance and manner are bewitching, you can 
imagine how very pleasant it is. Her husband is a 
true, honourable English gentleman. There are no 
other guests but Lord Middleton and a gallant fox- 
hunting old parson like one of Richardson's. Isaac 
Taylor is the rector. 

A few short visits were paid, and then she went 
north to redeem a promise to her sister, that they 
should spend a month in lona together. Tobermory 
was too relaxing for her, although admirably suited 
to Henrietta, and this was a compromise. They 
were settled in the little St. Columba Inn by the 
middle of August and stayed till the end of Sep- 
tember, very quiet and very happy in each other's 
companionship. Isabella reverted to her arrears of 
articles, one of which was a paper on " The Two 
Atlantics " for The Leisure Hour. They had the 
drawing-room almost to themselves, as few of the 
visitors were ladies, and the artists and literary men 
such as Mr. Lorimer and Principal Tulloch, were 
there to explore the island, making use of the inn 
for meals and sleep. But the hostess of the 
St. Columba, one of three sisters whose father 
was captain of a small trading-vessel, was always 
ready to accompany Miss Bird upon her daily faring- 
forth, whether in storm or sunshine. They climbed 
Dun-Ee together, skirted the coast, lingered on the 
historic knolls and recited against each other, and 
against the wind, pages upon pages of Shakespeare, 
Milton, and Browning ! 

Two ladies arrived in early September, set down 
by the steamer to be picked up again a few days 


later. They had heard much of Miss Bird, but did 
not venture to disturb her seclusion until the morning 
of the day on which they were to leave. Then they 
called on her, fortified by their acquaintance with 
her aunt, the Hon. Mrs. Stewart, and had "a few 
hours of delightful intercourse with the sisters, and 
we repented our modesty, for Miss Bird would 
have been a perfect guide over the island, which 
she loved." Thus began her acquaintance with 
Miss Pipe, a woman whom to know was a liberal 
education, not only intellectually, but on account of 
the exquisite art of living to the glory of God in 
all things, in beauty of life, in temperance, truth, 
loyalty and peace of mind and manners. Miss Bird 
understood her at once, and the acquaintance ripened 
into friendship. With her, friendship included its 
endurance to the end. Acquaintances, made in the 
contact of daily circumstance, were not accounted 
friends, although some of these attained to the higher 
rank, and having attained were entitled to all its 
privileges. Loyalty was innate in her, and no mis- 
giving ever checked its flow, not even the deteriora- 
tion of a friend ; for in several instances, when the 
character of a friend became deteriorated by evil, 
Isabella's affection showed itself in self-sacrifice for 
her good. 

It is probable that she spent a few days at 
Altnacraig this summer, taking the steamer to and 
fro from lona. 

Their winter quarters in Edinburgh were again 
at 7 Atholl Crescent. Apparently Miss Bird began 
the season's work by developing her scanty notes 
of the two months spent in Australia in 1872, for an 
article appeared later in The Leisure Hour entitled 
"Australia Felix." 


But there is little record of the weeks which closed 
1876. The next year found her taking an energetic 
interest in the proposed Bazaar for the erection of a 
" National Livingstone Memorial," in the form of a 
non-sectarian college for the training of medical 
missionaries and of lady nurses for Africa and India. 
Her friends Miss Cullen and Dr. Bishop engaged 
her help and enthusiasm in this undertaking, and 
she secured the names of many influential men and 
women as patrons and patronesses of the Bazaar, 
amongst them being Lord and Lady Teignmouth, 
Mrs. Willoughby, Sir John and Lady Emma McNeill, 
Sir William and Lady Muir, Sir Noe'l and Lady Paton, 
Bishop Perry, and Mrs. Horace Waller, the wife of 
Livingstone's friend. She took no interest in bazaars 
as a rule, but the object of this was so entirely in 
accordance with her own mind, on what was essential 
to the equipment of missionaries, that she became 
a member of its committee, and threw herself heart 
and soul into the preparations. For this memorial 
was to be no barren monument, but a living and 
life-giving source of help to the helpless. 

Livingstone had been commemorated by Mrs. D. O. 
Hill's vigorous and lifelike statue in bronze, which 
stands in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh's 
Valhalla; but this College was to keep fresh and 
full that twofold outpouring of healing for soul and 
body, of which Livingstone was the pioneer in troubled 
Africa. This combination of physical with spiritual 
healing he had warmly advocated as the very method 
of Christ Himself. 

The Directors of the Edinburgh Medical Missionary 
Society had already collected 6,000, and the building 
was begun in the Cowgate, but it was estimated 
that 4,000 were still required to complete it. An 


influential Edinburgh Committee was formed, con- 
sisting of eighteen ladies, who organised branches 
in all parts of Scotland, and in London, Manchester, 
and Liverpool, for the collecting and forwarding of 
work, while Dr. Lowe and the other directors under- 
took to receive donations in money. 

The veteran African missionary, Dr. Robert Moffat, 
wrote : 

I have no language to express my admiration of 
your undertaking. To what purpose do all the 
sculptured heroes of bygone ages serve, except to 
remind us that such once lived, and some of them to 
some purpose, but beyond that they are silent as the 
grave. The " Livingstone Medical Missionary Me- 
morial" will be a living one, diffusing influence and 
scattering blessings, not to Africa only, but to every 
quarter of the globe, where suffering humanity is crying 
lor the sympathy of human aid. 

The powerful patronage of H.R.H. the Princess 
Louise was secured, as well as that of forty-three 
Scottish notables, beginning with the Duke and 
Duchess of Argyll. 

At committee work and bazaar correspondence 
Miss Bird laboured indefatigably all spring. Miss 
Cullen was one of the secretaries and they were 
in constant touch. Dr. Bishop, who was now a 
devoted friend of both sisters, was giving every 
spare moment to aid their preparations and plans. 
Henrietta was suffering from a severe chill, and as 
Dr. Moir had retired from practice, Dr. Bishop was 
her medical attendant, and his visits to 7 Atholl 
Crescent were frequent on both counts. Besides, 
he was an ardent microscopist, and Miss Bird and 
he were busy with the marvels of Atlantic oaze. 

Her literary work was set aside for this absorbing 
study. Apparently even then it was Dr, Bishop's 

i8 77 ] DR. BISHOP 97 

earnest wish that she should marry him, but, in 
spite of deep admiration for his character, she was 
unable to grant his petition. In truth, she was so 
deeply attached to her sister, whom she called " all 
my world" and "my pet, to be with whom is my 
joy," that she shrank from admitting and returning 
another affection. In summer Henrietta went to 
Tobermory and Miss Bird to Braemar, where she 
spent some weeks, followed up by a short sequence 
of visits, before returning to Edinburgh for a few 
days. During these days of late August, Dr. Bishop 
renewed his suit, but she persuaded him to let their 
friendship abide undisturbed by considerations which 
she was unwilling to face, and " he behaved beauti- 
fully, so that our intercourse will be quite free from 
She was at The Cottage in Mull early in September. 

I am enjoying it very much [she wrote to Mrs. 
Blackie], though it is disagreeing with me as usual. 
Hennie is so happy and delightful in her own house. 
I cannot say how much I admire her. Her house 
is so warm and comfortable, and she manages so 
nicely. Dr. Bishop is here " healing the sick." 

Henrietta urged Professor and Mrs. Blackie to pay 
them a visit, which took place successfully towards 
the end of September and so charmed the Professor 
that it inspired him to write his beautiful " Lay of 
the Little Lady," in which he portrayed his hostess 
with delicate, admiring touches. 

Where a widow weeps, 

She with her is weeping ; 
Where a sorrow sleeps, 

She doth watch it sleeping ; 
Where the sky is bright, 

With one sole taint of sadness, 
Let her come in sight 

And all is turned to gladness. 


In October Miss Bird went to Altnacraig, after 
its summer visitors had taken leave, for she preferred 
to be with her friends when they were freed from 
hospitable cares, and she could have true converse 
with them. Both she and Mrs. Blackie were moved 
and even agitated by the flowing tide of materialism, 
infidelity, and its effect on the moral character of 
those whom it submerged. They conversed with 
that apprehensive sense of insecurity which beset 
even the faithful few in those days, half-stupefied, 
as if their creed must be false because there were a 
few verbal mistakes in much-translated and copied 
versions of God's Word, and half-abashed as if the 
loud-voiced materialists knew all things because 
they had discovered another of God's laws and a 
few new groups of facts all really redounding to His 
praise. But the wavering did not last long in Miss 
Bird's mind, and she soon recovered the assurance of 
faith in which she had lived from her earliest days. 

Winter and the great Bazaar recalled her to 
7 Atholl Crescent. Another occupation claimed her 
evenings and mornings. The editor of The Leisure 
Hour asked her for a series of papers on her travels 
in the Rocky Mountains, so she was engaged in 
the now familiar task of revising her letters this 
time of the autumn of 1873. 

Again Dr. Grainger Stewart advised travel, and 
her thoughts went far afield to the Andes and to 
Japan. She asked Mr. Darwin for advice as to the 
highlands of the Andes, where she hoped to ride, 
using the Mexican saddle, which had been indis- 
pensable to her comfort in the Rockies. But he 
was not encouraging, and the untravelled parts of 
Japan began to win on her consideration. Miss 
Gordon Gumming was there at this time. 

i8 7 7] THE BAZAAR 99 

The Bazaar was fixed for December 13, 14, and 15, 
and she engaged to assist Lady Paton in taking 
charge of a table for pictures, for which Sir Noel 
had already painted one. On December 18 she 
wrote to Mrs. Willoughby : 

The Bazaar was a most splendid success, and the 
very pleasantest thing of the kind I was ever at. 
Hennie edited a Bazaar Gazette, which was printed 
and sold in the Hall at three o'clock daily, and took 
immensely. I wrote a Bazaar Guide, of which two 
thousand copies were sold. Lady Paton and I took 
630 not bad, as raffling was prohibited. Our most 
expensive things sold best. I hope to answer your 
very delightful letter shortly. In the meantime, I will 
only say that it did me good. 

But alas for her bereaved friends ! her next letter, 
only three days later, was to sympathise with them 
on the death of Lord Middleton, Mr. Willoughby's 
father : 

Truly death is a terrible thing. Fearlessly as we 
commit the spirits of those we love into the keeping 
not only of a merciful Creator, but of a loving Father, 
mystery hangs around their future, and faith has to 
ignore speculation as to their condition and look 
hopefully forward to the coming of our Lord Jesus 
Christ and our gathering together unto Him when 
we shall be satisfied not only in ourselves, but in each 
other, and lose at once and "for ever" that bitter ache 
of loneliness, which is sometimes almost maddening. 



JAPAN was in Miss Bird's mind all winter, and by 
February, 1878, she was preparing for her voyage and 
exploration. From the first she planned to make a 
tour in the interior rather than to prolong her 
residence in the capital and other cities. She wished 
to come in contact with as much of ancient Japan as 
possible. The old order was changing, the Shogunate 
had disappeared, the very name of the capital Yedo 
was altered to Tokio, although the old customs died 
hard, and there was still an old-world, in spite of 
its continuous transformation under the breath of 
the Western spirit. It was indeed the very hour of its 
transition, and Miss Bird was to witness the process 
of a metamorphosis unequalled in thoroughness since 
Roman days and swifter far than any national change 
chronicled by historians. 

Lady Middleton, who secured for Miss Bird a 
valuable introduction to Sir Harry and Lady 
Parkes from the Duke of Argyll, had asked her 
to choose and purchase curios, embroideries and 
bronzes. She was equipped altogether with forty 
letters to influential residents. The parting with her 
sister was unspeakably sad. Henrietta was not well, 
and Dr. Bishop was again in attendance. 

He has treated her admirably [Miss Bird wrote 
to Mrs. Blackie], and I am so glad that, if need arise, 


1878] TO JAPAN 101 

she is now able to have a doctor who has learned 
something of her very sensitive constitution. It is 
terrible to me to part from her. I hope I shall get 
such health as that I may never be long separated 
from her again. These are very solemn and pathetic 
hours ; " the last time " is written on everything. 

This foreboding was half prophetic and originated 
no doubt in the shock she received from the illness 
and death of her father, immediately after her second 
return from America. 

My friends [she continued] are dearer to me, and 
people I care little about become more interesting, 
and even the dull grey streets smile in the sunshine. 

Dr. Macgregor prayed aloud for her safety in 
St. Cuthbert's Church on her last Sunday at home. 
Then she and Henrietta gave three large afternoon 
parties, to save her from a trying round of farewell 
calls, and when all was arranged and ended she left 
for Japan. It was April when she started, and 
already for some months her letters from the Rocky 
Mountains had been appearing in The Leisure Hour, 
where they attracted so much interest, that a demand 
for their separate publication made itself heard, even 
before her departure. But she deferred its con- 
sideration until her return. 

She had a particularly good passage to New York, 
and found on board a pleasant companion in her 
friend Mr. Robertson. At Chicago she spent a day 
with Sandwich Island friends, and then travelled to 
Salt Lake City, where some of her introductions 
enabled her to see a little of Mormon domestic life, 
before she resumed her long and weary railroad 
journey to San Francisco. Thence she sailed to 
Shanghai, which she reached in May, going on to 
Yokohama in the s.s. City of Tokio. At Yokohama 


she put up at the Oriental Hotel, paid business visits 
to Mr. Wilkinson, the Consul, and to Mr. Fraser, who 
changed her British gold into Japanese paper money 
and rouleaux of copper coins. She left her letters 
and cards at the Legation, and Sir Harry and Lady 
Parkes came to see her the next day, in jinrikishas, 
and showed the liveliest interest in her intended 
enterprise, encouraging her with offers of every 
possible assistance. 

Two days later she took the train to Tokio and 
stayed at the British Legation, where she met for the 
first time Mr. (now Sir Ernest) Satow, Secretary to 
the Legation, the best-informed man in Japan, whose 
friendship she secured and who put at her disposal all 
his stores of knowledge of the country and its history. 
This was indeed an acquisition, for she had learned 
how needful it is for a traveller to have her record 
endorsed by authority, since the quidnunc stay-at- 
home is unwilling to believe what he is unqualified 
either to prove or disprove. What she needed most 
for her adventurous journey were a servant and a 
pony, and they were hard to find. 

At last a servant was secured the "Ito" well known 
to readers of Unbeaten Tracks in Japan and about the 
middle of June, after a visit to Nikko, she started 
for the interior without a pony, in one of the three 
jinrikishas, which she had hired with their runners for 
the first stage of ninety miles, at a charge of eleven 
shillings each for three days ! But her book narrates 
every step of that deeply interesting journey, and we 
must note its interludes rather than its stages. 

Her tour was prolonged throughout July, August, 
and part of September. By August 10, she reached 
Hakodate, the port of Yezo, the northern island of 
the Japanese empire. She had come from Aomari in 

i8 7 8] AMONG THE AfNOS 103 

an old steamer which took fourteen hours to cross 
the sixty miles of choppy sea, with gusts of rain 
and spindrift, reminding her of the Highlands. She 
reached the Church Mission House soaked and 
coated with mud, her luggage sodden with salt 
water an unprepossessing visitor, but warmly wel- 
comed by Mr. and Mrs. Dening, and triumphing in 
her conquest of all obstacles. 

How musical the clamour of the Northern Ocean is ! 
[she wrote to Henrietta] how inspiriting the shrieking 
and howling of the boisterous wind ! Even the fierce 
pelting of the rain is home-like, and the cold in which 
one shivers is stimulating ! You cannot imagine the 
delight of being in a room with a door that will lock, 
of being in a bed instead of on a stretcher, of finding 
twenty-three letters containing good news, and of 
being able to read them in warmth and quietness 
under the roof of an English home ! 

On the 1 2th she wrote to Mrs. Blackie : 

All difficulties suggested as to my getting into the 
interior turned out myths; the Government has afforded 
me every facility, and I have just successfully accom- 
plished a tour of seven hundred miles, through the 
heart of the interior without molestation, although on 
much of my route no European has ever been seen. 
After being for two months exclusively among Asiatics, 
I find the society of English people fatiguing ; my soul 
hankers for solitude and freedom. So in two days 
I go off into the interior of Yezo, to live among its 
aborigines, the " hairy Ainos," till the summer heat 
be over. As regards health, my journey has been 
a great disappointment. I am much worse than 
when I left home. But I am accumulating much 
interest for the future. Japan involves severe brain 
work ; I give myself entirely up to studying it. 

Miss Bird's residence amongst the Ainos was 
fruitful in interesting episodes and discoveries, 
although its brevity and hardships made her con- 
tinuous investigations both painful and exhausting. 


She was for four days the guest of Benri, the Aino 
chief. At first her host was absent, but his nephew 
Shinondi received and made her welcome, and the 
sordid details of her visit were redeemed by the 
pathetic interest roused in her mind, by these 
oppressed but in many ways attractive people. Her 
self-control, her gentleness, kindness, and that 
quality of sheathed power which characterised her, 
made her supreme amongst them. The men, old 
and young, were eager to serve her, to explain and 
relate what she wished to know, always humbly 
protesting 'their ignorance, since Benri, the absent 
chief, knew best. The women were busy about her, 
cooking their best and full of courtesy. Only the 
chiefs mother looked on her with sinister eyes, 
suspecting evil to the tribe from the stranger's 
presence. The old men pressed into the hut to do 
her honour. Indeed Benri's spacious hut seemed 
to be used as the Aino Club. At night when she 
climbed into her bunk in the wall, the fire was piled 
up with logs, and one after another the old men 
dropped in to gather round it and talk in low soft 
voices, a score of them at a time. 

I never saw such a strangely picturesque sight 
as that group of magnificent savages with the fitful 
firelight on their faces, and for adjuncts the flare 
of the torch, the strong lights, the blackness of the 
recesses of the room and of the roof, at one end 
of which the stars looked in, and the row of savage 
women in the background ; Eastern savagery and 
Western civilisation meet in this hut, savagery giving 
and civilisation receiving, the yellow-skinned Ito 
the connecting link between the two and the repre- 
sentative of a civilisation to which our own is " but 
an infant of days." 

One night even her fortitude was shaken. She 
was in her bunk watching the wild scene, when a 

i8 7 8] AT THE LEGATION 105 

quarrel seemed to break out between two of the 
younger Ainos ; their voices grew loud, their gestures 
excited and fierce, the arm of one of them was con- 
stantly extended towards her, and she shivered in 
apprehension, never doubting that they planned her 
murder. But the voices grew hushed, one by one 
the men passed silently out of the hut, and all was 
still, save for the women who sewed by the light of a 
rude lamp till midnight, when they crept into their 
beds hidden by hanging mats from the large interior. 
Ito was curled up on the floor, and in the morning 
she asked him what had happened. " It was nothing," 
he said : " one of the men was hot and wished to 
take off his garment, but Shinondi would not let 
him do it before the stranger woman." 

Miss Bird has not recorded this incident, but 
told it to me one day when we were looking over 
Tobermory Bay from The Cottage. 

About September 20 she was back at the British 
Legation in Tokio, with Sir Harry and Lady Parkes. 
Miss Gordon Gumming was there too, and is 
mentioned in a note to Lady Middleton dated Septem- 
ber 30: 

I hope to execute some of your commissions, but 
good things have become immensely dear, owing to 
the incursions of curio hunters from every part of 
Europe. Miss Gordon Gumming left for Nikko with 
the French minister this morning. She is beautifully 
dressed, and is strong and well. 

Miss Bird's headquarters were now at the British 
Legation in Tokio for nearly two months. Mr. Satow 
helped her to verify and correct her notes and statistics, 
and Sir Harry Parkes promoted her short excursions 
in every possible way. He secured permission to 
visit one of the cremation stations, to which the 


governor of Tokio, Mr. Kusamoto, sent her in his 
own carriage, accompanied by a Government inter- 
preter, and supplied her the next day with a trans- 
lated account of cremation and its introduction into 

The colder, drier weather restored her, and she 
was fairly well when she left that most lovely and 
interesting land, where she had spent seven busy 
months, reaping a golden harvest of knowledge for 
her own country. She embarked on December 18 
on the s.s. Volga for Hong Kong, and suffered from 
the pitching of the wretched vessel in the violent 
gales which beset it all the way, cold and noise 
adding to her misery. On the last day the storm, 
although still fierce, was dry, and she went on deck 
eager to see the coast of the " mysterious continent." 
Her welcome to Hong Kong was startling. The 
city was on fire and was wrapped in columns of 
smoke, while the beating of drums and the tolling 
of bells sounding out of the darkness told of agitation 
and alarm. The hotels were packed with refugees, 
and she had to be carried in a bamboo chair, through 
terror-stricken crowds, straight to Bishop Burdon's 
house, where she was hospitably welcomed, although 
warned that if the wind continued to blow towards 
the house they must be ready to leave at a moment's 
notice. But at 10 p.m. the wind changed and the 
danger was over. Her first action in Hong Kong 
was to go down to the burning city with the Bishop, 
and she describes its wreck in the letter written to 
Henrietta immediately after her arrival. But these 
and other remarkable details are given in the chapters 
upon Hong Kong and Canton in her Golden Cher- 
sonese, published in 1883, and they may be omitted 
here. She wrote to Mrs. Blackie that she considered 

1879] MALACCA 107 

Canton " the most wonderful and picturesque city 
on earth." 

Mrs. Blackie was very slowly recovering from a 
fever contracted in Venice, where she had been 
nursing her niece in the hottest part of the summer, 
and Miss Bird's letter is full of concern about her 
long-continued delicacy. Dr. Bishop attended her, 
as Dr. John Brown was not in Edinburgh, and this 
elicited some interesting comments : 

From what I have seen and heard, I have the 
highest opinion of his medical intuitions, conscien- 
tiousness, and resources, and he never speaks of 
the illnesses of his patients ! I am so glad for 
himself, too, to know you. He is so pure and good 
that he will appreciate and love you. His treatment 
of Hennie was a great comfort to me. I don't think 
that any doctor before has understood her peculiarities 
of constitution. 

When she left China it was with the intention 
of visiting Ceylon, inspired by the recollection of 
Miss Gordon Cumming's beautiful sketches; but at 
Singapore, Mr. Cecil Smith, Secretary to Sir 
William Robinson, the Governor, suggested to her 
that a Chinese steamer was to sail for Malacca 
on January 19, and that if she cared to explore 
the Malay States everything would be done to 
further and facilitate the expedition. In five minutes 
her mind was made up, the prospect of escape from 
civilisation into new and fascinating wilds being 
irresistible, so that we find her on board the little 
s.s. Rainbow on Monday, the iQth, committed to the 
care of a kindly Welsh engineer, who saw to her 
comfort during the voyage. 

The Golden Chersonese vividly reproduces all the 
stages and transits of this interesting journey, and 
will be discussed more fully when we reach the 


date of its publication. She spent five weeks 
altogether in the Malay Peninsula, leaving it on 
February 25, by steamer, for Cairo. There she was 
attacked by typhoid fever, not fully developed until 
she was in the desert, where she had to suffer all 
the agonies of thirst and the accesses of fever-heat 
and shivering untended. But she made good use of 
its intervals and carried out a long-cherished plan 
of encamping on the solemn slope of Mount Sinai, 
spending four days in its solitude, amongst its 
awe-inspiring associations. 

Immediately following the fever, and resulting 
from it, came depths of deep depression. The 
eastern tour had proved unprofitable to her health, 
but its interests were great gain and she was to 
obey their summons again and again, after a period 
amounting to nigh a decade of years, during which 
time she was kept at home. 

There can be no doubt whatever about the 
immense intellectual and spiritual increase garnered 
from these eastern travels. Her books from this 
time indicate a loftier aim, and wider outlook, than 
those already published and that in preparation. 
They are more masculine in their scope, and evince 
a more powerful and accurate apprehension of each 
nationality, as the complete and separate expression 
of humanity produced by different equipment, cir- 
cumstances, and development. The exuberance of 
detail and reiteration, which dimmed somewhat the 
brilliance of her Six Months in the Sandwich Islands, 
falls away ; the judgment is no longer in fetters ; the 
mind is more richly endowed, less censorious, less 
stultified with prejudice; the spirit, no longer 
dwarfed within stereotyped bounds, grows in wisdom 
and understanding. 

iS 79 ] AT TOBERMORY 109 

The heat and dust of Egypt discouraged a longer 
stay in the East, and she was on her way home early 
in May. Mr. Loftus of The Saturday Review was her 
fellow traveller and they became great allies. But she 
caught cold sitting up one bitter night to nurse an 
invalid passenger, and, as she was weakened by fever, 
this brought on an agonising attack of pleurodynia, 
so that she was a wreck when Miss Clayton met 
her on landing, and had to be nursed back into a 
measure of convalescence before she could travel to 
Mull, where she rejoined her sister at The Cottage 
on May 27. She was then so weak that she could 
not walk from the Clydesdale to the carriage without 
help, and three weeks passed before she could walk 
even as far as the village of Tobermory. 

In a letter to Mrs. Blackie, written on June 16, 
Miss Bird describes her state and occupations : 

My body is very weak, and I can only walk about 
three hundred yards with a stick ; but my head is all 
right, and I am working five hours a day in this 
delicious quiet. Hennie has improved wonderfully 
since I came, and we are very happy together. I feel 
that " goodness and mercy have followed me," and the 
joy of my return to Hennie's unselfish love and the 
precious affection of many dear friends is new every 
morning. Nothing but kindness has been my lot all 
round the world, and, except that my health grew 
worse rather than better, nothing ever went wrong. 

Mr. Murray bespoke Japan at once, and wished to 
publish it so soon as a date could be fixed which 
would avoid clashing with Mr. Reid's volume on the 
same subject, then in course of preparation. A 
Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains was on the 
point of publication in book form. Its appearance 
in The Leisure Hour had been most successful, and 
the editor of The Spectator had congratulated his 


contemporary on the privilege of publishing such 
papers, the interest of which, as he expressed it, 
" intoxicated " him. 

This book appeared in October, a second edition 
was called for in November, and the third appeared in 
January, 1880. It is easy to understand its charm, 
in spite of its being seven years old when it received 
its final form. Its matter is of the kind which " age 
cannot wither nor custom stale," for the human 
interest of the book is so strong and fresh that it 
overpowers the record of dangers overcome and 
nature surprised in her most inaccessible retreats. 
The austere, uncouth, dull, and respectable settlers 
in the Canyon of Colorado, avoiding courtesy as the 
breath of the evil one ; Dr. and Mrs. Hughes ; Evans 
and his sanatorium, and above all " Mountain Jim," or 
rather Mr. Nugent and Ring, his dog, form a group 
of dramatis personce not easily to be forgotten. And, 
alasl their play ended in a tragedy as grim and 
fierce as any planned by Aeschylus. 

But at Tobermory she was engrossed with Japan. 
Henrietta wrote to Mrs. Macdiarmid about these quiet 
weeks together : 

I had time to get stronger before she came, for 
which I was very thankful. We spend our days thus : 
She writes in the sitting-room till dinner at 1.30, and 
I either sit out in the wood, or in my own room down- 
stairs, which I have fitted up as a half drawing-room. 
After dinner we go out for a stroll, come in about 
3 or 3.30 and have a cup of tea, then I leave her 
to write till 7, and I go down to do business, or 
make visits in the village. After tea at 7, we go 
out for a longer stroll, and usually come in about 
9. Nowhere could she have such quiet and freedom 
from interruption. Keeping the house is a great 
burden to my mind ! Dinners seem always upon it, 
for it is so difficult to get variety, and now and then 


difficult to get anything. And I like to have every- 
thing perfect, and when it falls short of this perfection 
I always feel vexed and disheartened. I have two 
patients at present the old pilot, who is ill with 
paralysis, and a young lad, Hector Macdonald, dying 
in consumption. 

In a letter to Lady Middleton, written about this 
time, Miss Bird gives a tempting catalogue of the 
curios bought in Japan for her correspondent. There 
were six paintings on silk, the only duplicates of some 
executed for the Mikado, an old picture in embroidery 
from a temple, a piece of cloth of gold of the Shogun 
dress, and some knife handles. For herself she had 
chosen some exquisite embroideries, pictures repre- 
senting the Japanese moral law, of which I particularly 
remember that illustrating the mythical antetype of all 
duty to parents. A man in despair because his mother 
was dying consulted an oracle for help, but received 
only the depressing answer : " When bamboo shoots 
pierce through the snow, thy mother will recover." The 
snow lay thick upon the ground, but he remembered 
a corner of his garden where they were wont first to 
appear in spring, and kneeling there he wept hot 
tears day and night until the snow was melted and the 
soil penetrated with moisture : then the bamboo, tricked 
into a dream of spring-time and warm rain, sent out 
its first young shoots. Then he rose and went into 
the house, and lo ! his mother sat up and welcomed 
him with a smile. This was embroidered in silver 
and gold on a crimson satin panel. 

She bought, besides, an antique bronze, a daimio's 
bath, which served to hold palms and plants ; an exact 
copy of a bronze jug in the Japanese Treasury, which 
was nine centuries old, and other beautiful bronzes of 
a quality which the curio-hunter of to-day cannot find. 


Early in September Miss Bird went to Applecross 
to pay Lord and Lady Middleton a long visit. Her 
hosts picked her up at Tobermory on the way to 
Applecross in their yacht the Lady Eisa, and Lady 
Middleton thus recalls the voyage : 

I was a bad sailor; but as she and I lay on 
opposite sides of the deck cabin during a quite rough 
passage, I don't remember to have felt the day long 
at all, so entertaining was she. 

Miss Bird gives an account of her visit and of her 
hostess to Mrs. Blackie on September 13, enclosing 
an invitation to the Professor from Lord Middleton. 

I have the exclusive use of the boudoir, and can 
plod here nearly as well as at home. There are 
twenty-three guests in the house, including Lord and 
Lady Galway on their honeymoon and two very 
riotous engaged couples. I like to see the dress 
or undress fearfully and wonderfully made. The 
jewellery too is beautiful, but the bodies are more 
adorned than the minds. Do you remember how 
attractive you thought Lady Middleton, when you 
met her in Atholl Crescent? She is lovelier and 
more lovable, and her accession to the title and the 
surroundings of enormous wealth has left her as it 
found her. 

In this letter too are allusions to Dr. Bishop, who 
had been attending both Lady Parkes and Miss Parkes 
on their home-coming. Lady Parkes had written to 
Miss Bird : 

Except Sir Harry, he is the most unselfish man I 
ever met, and I can never repay his thoughtful kind- 
ness to us all. I believe that his society will be of 
real and lasting benefit to my eldest daughter, stimu- 
lating her in the exact direction in which I wish to 
see her developed. 

Dr. Bishop renewed his suit, but Miss Bird felt 
herself to be scarcely " a marrying woman," and he 

i8 7 9] HEART-SEARCHING 113 

forbore to distress her. " He has acted nobly and 
sweetly to me, never saying one word about his own 

Lord Middleton lent her the steam-yacht for two 
days' cruise and she spent them at Loch Torridon, 
where she visited a school for which she had long 
collected money. After three weeks' stay at Apple- 
cross, she returned to Tobermory, and on the way 
halted at Kyleakin in Skye, sitting under the ruin of 
the castle till darkness fell, remembering the happy 
days of youth when parents and sister were with her, 
at the first landing there in 1852, " Hennie and I enthu- 
siastic and blooming lassies." Now, she thanked 
God on the very spot for those " who had departed 
this life in His faith and fear," and prayed to be 
purified from selfishness and worldliness, as they 

She was again greatly concerned about the selfish- 
ness which she suspected in herself, confounding 
the care needed by her constant suffering with 
pampering of the flesh. 

Lady Middleton's perfect consideration for all 
her guests, a delicacy regarding others expressed 
by look, word, and deed f and the wonderful power 
which enabled her to place herself sympathetically 
without effort close to people in all circumstances, 
had gone home to Miss Bird with self-convicting 
force, and we find her dwelling on the subject in 
many letters. " The heart," she concludes, " only 
grows strong by loving and working, and so only 
can ever follow the Master, and happily there are 
always people to be loved and helped." 

At The Cottage she worked unremittingly. 
Mr. Murray desired to publish her book on Japan 
as soon as it was completed, and proofs were already 



coming and going. She and Henrietta left Mull 
for Oban in October and settled for a last week of 
quiet there. Isabella was in better health, but 
"tired." She wrote: 

I think perhaps that I shall never again have such 
a serenely happy four months. I shall always in the 
future as in trie past have to contest constitutional 
depression by earnest work and by trying to lose 
myself in the interests of others ; and full and interest- 
ing as my life is, I sometimes dread a battle of years. 

When they left Oban for the south, she spent a 
few days with Professor and Mrs. Blackie at 24, Hill 
Street, and then continued her journey to London, 
where she lived at 16 Oakley Square. Her aunt 
in Eton Road died while Miss Bird was in Japan, 
and the shadow of death again encompassed her. 
Lady Parkes, who had done so much for her, was 
dying. Sir Harry had been telegraphed for, and 
returned, alas ! only the day before the funeral. She 
was unwilling to die, because of her six children, but 
no woman was ever spiritually fitter to pass through 
the brief, dark corridor to heaven. Isabella suffered 
as she watched her shrink from entering. 

Not all the preaching since Adam 
Can make death other than death. 

Meanwhile reviewers were busy with The Rocky 
Mountains, and some of them, notably those of The 
Times and The Saturday Review, had shocked her by 
their hasty assumption that the Hawaiian riding-dress 
used by her was a male garment. She corrected their 
ignorant blunder in a short note added to the preface 
of the second edition, for which there was now an 
eager call. 

Dean Stanley told Mr. Murray that " every- 


body asks everybody, ' Have you read The Rocky 
Mountains ? ' " 

Mr. Murray is delighted and I find him delightful. 
I told him with some fear that I had refused a 
favourable notice in The Saturday Review from Mr. 
Loftie, and he was quite sympathetic. He asked me 
to go and finish Japan in his country house, but 
I need solitude for work. The critics have not 
scented out impropriety in the letters. Travellers 
are privileged to do the most improper things with 
perfect propriety. The pity and yearning to save 
Mountain Jim that I felt have taught me a little 
of what I think may at an immeasurable distance 
be the pity and yearning of the Father. People 
will find my Japan flat and dull after The Rocky 
Mountains. Hennie has been very poorly from a 
chill caught at church in bed eight days, and I have 
been anxious about her. 

Miss Bird joined her sister in December at 
No. 19 Coates Crescent, their winter quarters in 
Edinburgh. By New Year's Day, 1880, a third 
edition of The Rocky Mountains was in the press, 
and she was finishing Unbeaten Tracks in Japan. 

Henrietta was a little better, and the usual Edin- 
burgh "grind" of dinners and tea-parties had well 
begun. Both were drawn into the vortex during 
January, and Henrietta wrote to Mrs. Macdiarmid : 

I long very much for a single week of stillness 
and pure air, but such longings must be stifled for 
some time to come. It aggravates me to know of 
the glorious weather there has been lately in my 
Hebride, and to know how blue the water and the 
sky must be, and how all my familiar scenes must be 
looking their loveliest. I am more and more con- 
vinced that winter is the time to be in the Highlands 
and is the worst time in town. "She" is toiling to 
finish her book. 

The dissolution of Parliament, and the consequent 
hubbub of elections, decided Mr. Murray to withhold 


Japan at Easter and to delay its publication until 
the House of Commons was formed and constituted, 
as he knew that literature had little chance until the 
electoral fray was over. So Miss Bird had a respite 
in her plodding, and went south early in April, first to 
Birdsall House, to pay Lady Middleton a short visit, 
then to London, to keep faith with Mr. Murray, who 
gave a dinner party in her honour, and then back 
to Birdsall, where she met Miss Gordon Gumming 
laden with new portfolios full of treasures. 

She returned to Coates Crescent about April 20, 
carrying a superb and enormous bouquet, which 
she took to a party at Sir Alexander Grant's the 
following evening. 

It made a great sensation. I really believe that 
few of the people had seen a bouquet of such size. 
Murmurs of wonderment ran round the room, and 
all the learned men were in raptures. It is quite 
fresh for to-night, and Lady Teignmouth has sent 
across the Crescent to invite it, Lord Teignmouth 
having wondered at it last night. 

Henrietta had gone to Tobermory on April i, 
after a week of suffering. In her last letter to Mrs. 
Macdiarmid, dated April 16, she says : 

You can imagine how weak I was for the journey. 
I never felt so weak on that voyage before, and I 
continued so for a few days after coming here; but 
I am much better now in fact, quite a new person, 
though far from strong yet. Mrs. A. Macdonald has 
been taking me out daily for a sail, which has done 
more for me than any doctor could have done. 

In addition to her illness, Henrietta had to look 
after the caretaker of The Cottage, to send her to the 
infirmary in Edinburgh, and to secure the services 
of a kindly neighbour. She meant to return to 
Coates Crescent to welcome her sister back, but was 


first storm-stayed at The Cottage and then seized 
by a feverish cold which laid her up only a few 
days after writing the letter quoted. 

The news of her illness decided Miss Bird to go 
at once to Mull. At every stage of the journey 
telegrams from the doctor met her, indicating the 
growing seriousness of the feverish attack, which 
became typhoid. There is no doubt that its germs 
had been developing all spring, and it was with 
agonised foreboding that Miss Bird read the last 
message at Oban. She sailed thence on board the 
Clydesdale on the 2?th, reaching The Cottage about 
two o'clock and finding her sister too weak to speak 
or even open her eyes. 

The doctor told her that he could do no more, 
and that he had telegraphed for Dr. Bishop, who 
arrived on the 3Oth, bringing with him all neces- 
saries and an admirable nurse, the superintendent 
of the fever ward in the Edinburgh Infirmary, who 
sacrificed her holiday to nurse Henrietta. It was, 
too, by what one is tempted to call a providential 
accident that Dr. Bishop was enabled to devote 
himself to the treasured patient. He had been 
riding three weeks earlier, when his horse fell and 
rolled over him, breaking his leg, so that he was 
unable to continue his customary practice, and rest 
had been specially enjoined upon him. On May 
26 Dr. Bishop writes to Mr. Murray: 

Miss Isabella Bird desires me to tell you that she is 
here watching her sister, who is dangerously ill with 
typhoid fever, of which this is the thirty-sixth day. . . . 
I am to say that she has had many difficulties and 
hardships in travelling, as you know, but never any- 
thing equal to this, apart from the anxiety. This has 
arisen from the remoteness and isolation of the island 
at this season, the smallness of the house, the madness 


of an old and valued servant, the breakdown (from 
typhoid) of the volunteer substitute, and from the 
abject panic amongst the natives, who fly The Cottage 
as a pest house. 

Henrietta was most efficiently tended. Her times 
of prostration were frequent, and the flickering flame 
of life seemed again and again on the point of 
expiring ; but the remedies revived her for some 
time, and her sister began to hope that she would 
recover. She seldom opened her eyes, but even in 
her wandering the few words that she spoke 
were of sweet and tender gratitude for their care. 
But she did not realise how ill she was, and they did 
not dare to tell her so long as a glimmer of hope 

I can only trust to God [wrote Miss Bird], who may 
see fit to spare me my last treasure, though I often 
feel that it is selfish to pray that one so prepared to 
see God should for my sake be detained among the 
troubles of this troublesome world. 

Then she continued of Dr. Bishop : 

There is such a strength in having so good a man 
and so skilful a doctor, who knows her constitution 
thoroughly, in the house. He makes me feel that he 
is not dull, for he goes out for hours on horseback, 
though his leg is in splints, and sees cases of poor 
people from all the neighbourhood. 

Mrs. Allan of Aros and other friends sent in cooked 
food almost daily. The poor sorrowed for their 
friend, and from early morning stood outside the 
garden waiting to hear how she had passed the 
night. One night half the neighbours sat up in great 
distress, because she was thought to be sinking ; and 
in the sickroom were masses of the spring flowers 
she loved, gathered fresh every morning. The month 


From a photograph by /. Mojfat. 


of May, which had been spent in hoping and striving, 
ended in surrender, for the dear one passed away 
early in June. 

At the end the superstitious islanders avoided 
The Cottage entirely, and Dr. Bishop, in writing to 
Mr. Murray on June 6, gives a graphic account 
of the way in which the last sad offices were 
carried out: 

I cannot tell you how nobly and gently the sufferer 
bore the illness, and how in her very delirium her 
thoughts were always holy, innocent, and unselfish. 
After the death the carpenter, selected as the best 
man, declined to enter the house to measure the body, 
which had to be done by myself and a gentleman who 
had just arrived from Edinburgh to offer help to 
Miss Bird. In the evening the coffin was deposited 
on the doorstep, and it had to be carried upstairs by 
Dr. McLachlan (the local practitioner), the nurse, and 
myself. We reverently laid the body into its narrow 
resting-place, admiring greatly its loveliness, and its 
gentle dignity, and its heavenly smile. Then I led in 
Miss Bird, who, after kissing the brow tenderly, 
covered the face for the last time, after which Dr. 
McL. and I screwed down the lid. Thus it happened 
that only those who loved the saintly one touched her 
after death. Miss Bird is pretty well at present. She 
is woefully distressed, and yet she bears her grief as 
a gentle Christian woman snould. 

It was perhaps well that these duties were forced 
upon Miss Bird. They saved her from collapse, 
both of body and spirit. The coffin was closed and 
they left the deserted home for Edinburgh, bearing 
their dead with them, halting at Oban on the way, 
where they stayed at Altnacraig. 

Mrs. Blackie remembers well her friend's unspeak- 
able sorrow, the white face, the rigidity of a grief 
that chilled and devitalised her, the awful loneliness 
that wrapped her round, 


She went straight to her room and stayed there. 
Dr. Bishop walked up and down the lawn with Mrs. 
Blackie, and entreated her to plead his cause with 
Isabella who, brave woman though she was in all 
circumstances that called for courage, was utterly 
unfitted for heart-loneliness, and might sink under 
its pressure. 

Next day they took the train to Edinburgh, where 
she was the guest of Miss Cullen, at 33 Royal 
Terrace. It was from this house that the funeral 
took place. Her uncle, the Rev. John Lawson, 
came from Seaton Carew to officiate at the grave ; 
Mr. Cullen and Dr. Hanna took the service in the 
house. Sir Harry Parkes was there, ready to mourn 
with her who had^ so deeply mourned his wife, 
and many who had known and loved Henrietta 
in Edinburgh gathered round the grave in Dean 
Cemetery, where mother, father, and child were laid, 
their ransomed spirits reunited, and " with Christ, 
which is far better." 

Miss Bird stayed with these valued friends till 
the end of July, receiving at their hands the tenderest 
consideration. Some of the letters written during 
summer give a glimpse of her agony of regret. One 
to Mrs. Macdiarmid, written on July 8, says : 

My own sorrow does not dull me to yours ; you 
will never quite get over it you will miss her when- 
ever a new joy, or sorrow, or difficulty comes, for 
as she told me with such pleasure you said she 
" was the mother of your spirit." She loved you so 
dearly. In going over her papers, I found every 
note and letter you had ever written her tied up in 
packets by years. I burned these unlooked at of 
course. They were among her treasures. I hear her 
now calling you " child," and remember her, our y enjoy- 
ment of seeing you last year, I like all you say 

i88o] SORROW 121 

so thoroughly and feel how she would like it. Oh, 
Mary, the anguish is awful. She was my world, 
present or absent, seldom absent from my thoughts. 
Such a lovely, angelic being, as a friend writes 
"so beautiful a mind and so lovely a disposition 
have been, I should think, rarely united on earth." 
And now all is gone. I seem as if I must return to 
Tobermory to the scenes and people she loved, and 
spend some weeks in reading her precious papers. 
I seem hardly to care what becomes of me, and yet 
I pray God to make me follow her helpful, loving 
footsteps. I must not lose sight of you, very dear 
to me for the love on both sides. 


HENRIETTA BIRD, whom her sister mourned so deeply, 
is still remembered with devoted affection in 
Tobermory, although it is now a quarter of a century 
since she was called away from the scene of her 
loving endeavours to bring light into dark homes 
and comfort to sorrow-stricken hearts. She is still 
known there as " The Blessed One," some quality of 
unruffled peace, whose still radiance shone in her 
eyes, having evoked from the spontaneous symbolism 
of Celtic minds this apt description. Her genius 
was moral rather than intellectual. Less complex of 
character, less powerful mentally, less courageous 
physically, than her gifted sister, she excelled her 
in spiritual attainment, in the dignity of steadfast 
faith, the serenity of a soul ennobled by constant 
dwelling in the presence of the Most High. She lived 
in a world apart ; a retreat from which only duty 
summoned her. Her parents employed and bounded 
her activities while they lived, and her devotion to 
both is a revelation of filial affection. Perhaps her 
mother was dearest to her; she clung to her in 
childhood, and learnt almost everything from her in 
girlhood, for Mrs. Bird had maintained her resolution 
to teach her sensitive little ones herself, and studied 
history, literature, and popular science in so thorough 
a fashion for the task that both children were 



convinced that no one in the world was so clever as 
their mother. Henrietta kept a diary even at the time 
of her father's last illness, as well as in 1866, and in 
it she recorded every word, emotion, and suffering, 
and each change which befell her parents, in such a 
fashion as to witness now to her absolute preoccu- 
pation with both. Her own character resembled 
that rather of her mother than her father, while 
Isabella inherited her father's impulse and en- 

Mrs. Brown, their neighbour at Wyton, writes of 

The two sisters were widely different in girlhood, 
their temperament and characteristics, as well as 
intellectual tastes and acquirements, varying greatly, 
but both were charming companions and able to 
converse well on many subjects. What one lacked 
the other possessed, and thus together they formed 
a perfect combination. Henrietta was timid except 
where her sense of duty bade her be courageous ; 
very simple in her tastes, and very fond of study 
and scholarly pursuits. Above everything she loved 
nature ; this was part of her spiritual life and of her 
devotion to God and through Him to all His creatures. 
Her spirituality was felt by all with whom she 
came in contact ; it needed no expression in words. 
Henrietta looked up to Isabella with reverence as 
well as love, delighting in her strength, energy of 
purpose, and power of mind, and finding in her 
spiritual understanding and true sympathy. Henrietta's 
pleasure consisted in giving pleasure to others. In 
the early days of our friendship, we often met in her 
beautiful home on the banks of the Ouse, taking 
tea together, sometimes indulging in a little picnic 
on an island close at hand. She was a completely 
unselfish character, thinking little of herself and 
much of others. When my children were young, 
Henrietta ave them daily little astronomical talks, 
during a visit to us, and these delighted me as much 
as the children. Boating and walking were her 
favourite pastimes, and during the summer she was 


frequently to be met sculling herself on the broad 
river near the rectory. In March, 1858, I was called 
to part from my father, and I shall never forget her 
loving sympathy with me in my loss. When two 
months later her own father was taken, we sorrowed 

It was characteristic of her that she never wasted 
time. Some tranquil task fell to each hour ; her 
recreations were all simple. If the amazing penetra- 
tion which gave her sister the mastery over most 
difficult and complex subjects was not hers, the 
patient studiousness of a seeker after truth enabled 
her to tackle Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, to devote 
herself to natural philosophy, astronomy, and 
botany, to work out mathematical problems, to 
collate historical descriptions, to delight in all true 
poetry, and above all so to study the Scriptures that 
her mind and memory were a storehouse of their 
treasures, which gave their own character to her 
thoughts and speech. 

For to all her graces she added that of the pure 
in heart, who turn away from morbid interests and 
secular excitements, and love all things that are 
lovely and of good report. Her joys were in the 
home, in the beauty of nature, in the glory of sunset 
over the western seas, in the fragrant flowers of 
wild and meadow, the low burnet roses on the 
shores of Mull ; the thrift gardens amongst its 
rocks ; the saxifrages and fragile sorrel-cups ; the 
rare wild shamrock on Dun Ee ; the astonishing 
grace of reaches of oak fern opening in May; the 
fleeting cloud-shadows on Highland hills ; the 
thrilling blue of summer seas. As she derived from 
her mother unobtrusive ability and unflinching con- 
scientiousness, so too from her she caught that sense 
of the divine in nature, a glimpse of the Creator's 

i88o] SUNSHINE 125 

presence. On her deathbed Mrs. Bird referred con- 
stantly to the sunrise and the Sun of Righteousness 
and to a night journey she had taken the year 
before, when she had watched from the carriage 
window the upward leap of the summer sun. Amongst 
the many hymns which her daughters sang to her, 
Keble's " Sun of my Soul " was her favourite. 
Henrietta too rejoiced in the coming of light " with 
healing on its wings," and her eyes seemed ever to 
be looking for the everlasting day. 

Give thanks in everything ! 

For the call (whene'er it be) 
That shall bid thy prisoned soul take wing 

Saved everlastingly I 
Faith, lost in vision bright ! 
Shadows, in perfect day ! 
Fix there thy gaze, and the distant light 
Shall illumine all thy way. 

So she wrote, and there her gaze was fixed. Con- 
stantly the poetic reverie to which she gave expression 
turned to the sun and its message of the light beyond. 
Thus she wrote of a summer day strayed into mid- 
October : 

Cool airs breathed gently from the north, 

The waves as glass lay stiH, 
When that rose-tinted morn looked forth 
Upon the dewy hill. 

All day the hours in rhythmic flow 

A poem seemed to sing ; 
Till in warm hues and tenderer glow, 

The eve was mellowing. 

I watched the climbing shadow creep 

Up high Ben Talla's side ; 
And on his crest in purple deep, 

The latest radiance died. 

One halcyon day ! 'tis all 1 Adieu ! 

One pledge to memory given : 
The skies beyond the clouds are blue, 

The sun is still in heaven. 


Henrietta had begun to know and love the West 
Highlands in 1850, when she was about fifteen 
years old. Before Mrs. Bird died, she and her mother 
had been especially drawn to Tobermory, where 
they stayed again and again, at one time with the 
Miss Campbells, then in the Baptist Church Manse 
with Mrs. Macfarlane, to whom she felt strongly 
attached. In April, 1905, Mrs. Macfarlane was reading 
over Henrietta's letters, with the kindly wish to con- 
tribute as much as possible to this brief sketch of her 
friend, when her husband, who was in the room, 
hearing a sigh, turned to see her head droop and the 
letters fall from her hand. He went to her to find 
that in that sigh her spirit had fled. 

It must have been while staying with the Macfarlanes 
in Tobermory, perhaps in 1870, that Henrietta became 
interested in a little girl of lonely and sensitive nature, 
who was much drawn to her friend, and as time went 
on repaid her with devoted affection. So strong was 
the tie that Henrietta was more like her mother 
than her friend and counsellor only. She supplied 
care, guidance, and supervision, taught her to love read- 
ing and to seek knowledge, and procured for her the 
best possible education. The little girl was impres- 
sionable and responded to the influence which God 
had provided for her, and this great interest filled 
the blank in Henrietta's life caused by the loss of 
her mother and the frequent protracted absences of 
her sister. She had the joy of watching this young 
life's growth, it.s mental development, its awakening to 
all the standards of goodness towards which she herself 
so unfalteringly pressed. She was the " mother of her 
spirit," as indeed her charge told her later, when she 
married soon after returning from the excellent school 
to which Henrietta was the means of sending her. 

i88o] THE COTTAGE 127 

When the Macfarlanes left Tobermory, Henrietta 
stayed with Mrs. Thomson at Ulva Cottage so long 
as there was a room for her, a room that looked out 
to the gleaming Sound of Morvern and the glowing 
heights beyond. But later she migrated to a cottage 
a little lower down. The place had grown very 
dear to her for its beauty and the come and go 
of fishing-boats upon the bay below ; for the lovely 
woods of Aros opposite, the islands that barred the 
harbour mouth ; for friendship ripened and solitude 
sweetened by labours of love; for a multitude of poor 
neighbours, whose homes were her resort when sick- 
ness and sorrow shadowed them, on whose earthen 
floors she was wont to kneel and pray aloud for the 
healing and consoling presence of the Spirit, whose 
secrets were confided to her, sordid secrets often, but 
sacred to "the Blessed One," who had learned that 
in hearing, seeing, and silence lay the power to save. 
So she decided to become its tenant, and a lease for 
five years from Martinmas, 1876, was granted by the 
Deacons' Court of the Free Church of Tobermory 
to which it belonged. 

When her sister was in the Sandwich Islands, 
during the spring of 1873, Henrietta paid the 
Misses Mackenzie a long visit at their home near 
Inverkeithing in Fife, and one of these ladies, 
surviving her sister, vividly remembers the weeks 
of her stay. She was very delicate at the time, but 
was able to enjoy the garden and the surrounding 
country, of which she made many water-colour 
sketches. Sometimes she was induced to repeat her 
own verses to her hostesses. 

She was not only good and clever [writes Miss 
Mackenzie], but charming. She had the peculiar 
happy faculty of attracting much affection from many 


friends, rich and poor but her life, so uneventful, 
quiet, and retiring, hidden like a fragrant violet, 
afforded little to tell. While with us, she received 
a very thick letter-packet from Honolulu, from her 
sister many sheets closely written, a journal letter ; 
on the envelope was written outside, " No bad news 
in this letter ; may be read a little bit at a time." 

The water-colour sketches alluded to remind us 
of her gift for reproducing the most delicate atmo- 
spheric impressions. She loved the West Highlands 
nearly as much for their wealth of exquisite colouring 
as for their human interest a colouring new every 
morning and magical every evening, except when 
fierce gales blow, or a pall of driving mioi shrouds 
sea and sky. Sketching was one of her favourite 
recreations, but she was too shy to offer the little 
pictures for exhibition, and they were only known 
to her intimate friends. Her sister liked to have them 
mounted and hung, and crowded her walls with them, 
pointing them out and dwelling upon their beauties 
to her visitors ; but Henrietta herself shrank from 
admiring comment and observation. 

Her summers were always too brief for her own 
liking, but unhappily Tobermory did not then agree 
with Isabella, who was dearer than life to her, so 
that the long winters were spent in Edinburgh. The 
one exception was during Miss Bird's absence in 
Japan, China, and Further India, when Henrietta 
was able to remain in her cottage for fifteen months 
without interruption. But even the dreaded winters 
in town had compensations. Gradually Tobermory 
boys and girls grew old enough for school, college, 
or service, and she became their refuge and friend 
during their months or years in Edinburgh. It was 
a special pleasure to collect them round the breakfast- 
and tea-table; her "Tobermory Parties," she called 


those occasions, and triumphed when as many as 
six were gathered together. Two of these were 
medical students in whose careers both sisters 
took a special interest. They engaged influential 
friends to counsel them as to their profession 
and to help their first steps upon its ladder. Once 
for a whole winter Henrietta's adopted charge 
stayed with her and attended classes; others came 
for visits, when they needed medical advice or other 
help. These guests were chosen for the joy of 
brightening dull lives, of helping them to congenial 
occupation, of securing for their ailments the generous 
advice and assistance of skilled physicians. Henrietta's 
friends were made for reasons very unusual ; for 
the sake of their poverty and need of her, of their 
loneliness and dependence on her affection, of their 
sensitive youth and instinctive turning to her for 
understanding and guidance, of their sickness and 
sorrow and bereavement, and their faith in her 
sympathy and help. 

In Tobermory her tea-parties were social events. 
She used a number of graceful arts to make them 
successful. There were children's parties, and grown- 
up gatherings at The Cottage; each had its own 
attractions : pictures, stories, games for the one 
telescope, microscope, conversation for the other. 
Mrs. Forrest, her working housekeeper, had to prepare 
the scones and cakes, Henrietta gathered and arranged 
; the flowers, often helped by some of her younger 

As a hostess she was perfect. Here is an account 
of her reception of Sir Thomas Grainger Stewart, 
who often enjoyed an hour's talk with her, and who 
wrote an obituary notice of her in The Christian 
Monthly, from which the extract is borrowed : 



Those who enjoyed her friendship and used to visit 
her can never forget the fragile, delicate figure which 
used to rise from some occupation to receive her 
guest ; the composed and intelligent countenance, the 
friendly greeting, the cordial, firm grasp, the self-forget- 
fulness with which the work that had been occupying 
her was laid aside. There was no time wasted in 
small talk ; at once some topic of real interest was 
started and was pursued with zest and frankest state- 
ment of opinion. Whatever her occupation had been, 
she was always at leisure from herself and ready to 
enter into the thoughts and feelings of her guest. As 
the conversation went on, one used to notice her 
modesty and wisdom, the extent of her knowledge, the 
accuracy of her perceptions, the felicity of expression 
(rendered all the more marked by a slight embarrass- 
ment of utterance), the play of fancy, and the goodness 
of heart. Some experience of joy or sorrow, some new 
or lofty thought, a poem, a sunset over the Atlantic or 
behind one of her favourite western islands, or the 
story of some generous deed, would awaken her quiet 
enthusiasm and new beauties in her nature would be 

It is worthy of our attention that there seems to 
have been no time in her life when she doubted, 
or was for a moment in the wilderness of disobedience 
and forgetfulness of God. There was no crisis of 
conviction and conversion. 

In Edinburgh she went with her mother to St. 
Thomas's Church, where the clergyman, Mr. Drum- 
mond, was their valued friend. Often in the evenings 
they listened to Dr. Candlish, whom both sisters 
loved and understood. Neither was prejudiced in 
favour of Anglican or Presbyterian ; and the divisions 
amongst churches, professedly Christian, interested 
them vividly as spectators, not at all as sharers. 
Henrietta went to church for the living bread and 
water, not for the fraction of differentiating doctrine 
or government. 

i88o] STUDIES 131 

She was a student, as we have already learnt, of 
Hebrew, Greek, Latin, natural philosophy, astronomy, 
history, and literature; and, when settled in her 
cottage, she began to take lessons in botany from 
Mr. George Ross. He was an enthusiast, and after 
four lessons she grew fascinated by the wonders 
revealed to her in every leaf, stem, and blossom. 
Constant delicacy shadowed her last years, and this 
pursuit solaced the great loneliness which she endured 
during her sister's absence in the East. She gathered 
plants as she walked on the cliffs or in the woods, 
to classify and so to verify all that she learned 
from Mr. Ross. 

But her favourite study was the Bible, and for 
this she sought the aid of Greek and Hebrew. Along 
the lighthouse walk she found a slab of rock sheltered 
from the sun, whither she could carry her books and 
writing materials, and which served at once as chair 
and table. Here she spent happy hours in fine 
weather, going through the sacred pages which she 
had known "from a child," but in which she found 
new treasures for every new need. This was one of 
the ever-full sources of her power to help others. 
She never used Scripture for perfunctory quotations. 
She used it charged with primary significance, " by 
inspiration of God." 

The Birds were all great Bible students. Isabella 
constantly expressed herself in the language of 
Scripture, both in her books and her letters. When 
packing for her long expeditions, however much 
she sacrificed her personal comfort in reducing her 
travelling gear, her Bible went with her. In some 
articles published in The Leisure Hour in 1886, giving 
an account of her pilgrimage to Mounts Horeb and 
Sinai in 1879, she records her minute comparison of 

i 3 2 "THE BLESSED ONE" [CHAP, vi 

the journey through the desert on the Asiatic side 
of the Red Sea when with the burning heat and 
thirst of fever upon her, the thermometer registering 
110 in the shade, she made slow and painful pro- 
gress with the route taken by the children of 
Israel, for whose desolation and starvation she felt 
the deepest sympathy. And resting all Easter Sunday 
on the slopes of Sinai, she read their whole inspired 
history from Exodus xii. to the Captivity. 

This was just before her return to spend the 
summer in peace with Henrietta their last summer 
together. The four months in Edinburgh which 
followed were a time of distress and disheartening 
to the younger sister. She made efforts to go out 
for Isabella's sake, and suffered them in silence. 
Her own words best express what Edinburgh meant 
to her still mind and spirit. They occur in a letter 
to Mrs. Macdiarmid, to whom Henrietta uttered her 
inmost heart: 

I never was so sorry to leave my cottage as this 
time. My illness, by the daily, hourly kindness it 
called forth from my friends and neighbours, gave an 
added pathos to my departure. Poor Mrs. Forrest 
had been so continually about me, and was like an old 
family servant in her devotion and I know the blank 
without me must be terrible. Then the winter beauty 
"eats into my soul." I felt town most depressing. No 
one would believe that I could suffer so much from 
the separation from Nature, " my loved and faithful 
friend." The want of my hills, blue waters, clear skies, 
and bright sunshine made me simply wretched. 

From childhood she had been independent of out- 
siders for interest and happiness, and her friends 
were few in number and slowly acquired. While 
her parents lived, Mrs. Brown, of Houghton, and 
Mrs. Purves seem to have been the only companions 

,880] ON COMPANIONS 133 

of her girlhood really loved and sought. A very 
quaint little note to her mother has outlasted both 
their lives, in which she gives her reasons for de- 
clining companionship. It is undated, but evidently 
belongs to her early teens, before Mrs. Brown came 
to the neighbourhood of Wyton Rectory. Evidently 
her parents had urged her to seek companionship, 
regretting her loneliness when their more brilliant 
and sociable child was visiting her cousins. The 
little philosopher wrote : 

I think that for some people it is very good to have 
a companion, while for others it is very bad, and for 
others not exactly bad, yet conducive of no good. I 
have several reasons for objecting to the system of 
companionship. First, because I have never got from 
them spiritual profit, or yet temporal profit; second, 
because I get on quite as well without companions, 
and therefore I think I can do without them now as 
much as I did before; third, because I have been 
blest with a very dear sister, who is young, and to 
whom I can tell all secrets as well as have profitable 
conversation, which I could not do with a companion, 
and therefore I need no other. Older companions 
there are, many of them, who are suitable and profit- 
able viz. Mrs. Groocock, Miss Edge, Mary Toogood. 
These are the sort of companions I like. 

There is a priggish note in this early effusion, and 
as Henrietta grew older she discovered the joys of 
friendship and relaxed her stern code, but never 
wholly, for I have vexed memories of hours spent 
in answering question after question upon books of 
history and literature just studied, instead of being 
let loose upon the refreshing stream of natural 
conversation. To the end she maintained her con- 
viction that companionship must pay toll, spiritual 
or temporal. 

None the less, she had a charming vein of fun 
which sparkled at intervals and found vent in rhymes 


sent with gifts at Christmas, or in half-shy retort 
when with those she loved. Once she darned twenty- 
five pairs of stockings at sixpence a pair for a friend, 
who paid the money earned into the treasury of 
some charity. When Henrietta sent back the last 
three pairs her patience was exhausted, and broke 
into petulant verse. 

Oh ye innumerable holes ! 

Oh toes that mock repair ! 
Oh gaping heels ! Oh tattered soles ! 

Ye drive me to despair. 

Here, take your stockings, put them on, 

Pay me six times a penny ; 
I'm glad to think the last is done, 

For it was worse than any. 

And now since patience has its bounds 

So dire the toil and shocking, 
Unless you turn your pence to pounds 

I've mended your last stocking. 

Her mental wandering during intervals of delirium 
in her last illness was an index to her habit of 
spiritual reverie. The murmured words were all of 
heaven, its radiant vistas and pure delights. Only 
one sad mood is recorded, when she fancied that 
those about her were preventing her from going to 
her beloved "child" at Tiree. 

Ten years earlier she had written a hymn called 
" In Everything give Thanks." It almost seemed as 
if her dying were a thank-offering for the life of 
sacred joys and quiet work which the Father had 
gjven her, and from which on June 2, 1880, she 
passed behind the veil. 

Dr. Bishop wrote to Mrs. Milford on July 4, 1880 : 

She bore her sufferings with wonderful patience 
and sweetness. The nurse and I felt that we had 
never seen so lovely a patient. To the very last, 


and even in delirium, she delighted in nature and in 
the beauty of flowers. The end was most calm and 
peaceful. After death her face became angelic in its 
beauty and calm, sweet dignity. She was a ministering 
angel in Tobermory; all who knew her here are 
mourning deeply, and many are only now finding 
out how much she was to them. She was so quiet 
and free from self-obtrusion that it seems to have 
needed her removal to reveal her value to many. 

Dr. Hanna preached her funeral sermon in St. 
Cuthbert's Church, Edinburgh, and of this her sister 
preserved one exquisite passage : 

A mansion then for her, the beautiful, the meek, 
the gentle, the lowly, the loving, the holy in whose 
heart the seeds of grace had been sown in earliest 
days, who had never known her Saviour but to love 
Him, and who had loved Him so well and followed 
Him so faithfully that all through life her loving 
hands busied themselves in tenderly binding up 
bruised and broken hearts and in doing numberless 
kindly offices to all the needy about her. 

Professor Blackie had dedicated a poem to her three 
years earlier, which had been translated into Gaelic, 
and was well known throughout the West Highlands. 
These verses are given in an appendix to the present 

On June 16 Miss Bird writes to Mr. Murray: 

I thank you very truly for your kind letters of 
sympathy as well as for the one received by Dr. 
Bishop, which he has given to me, and for Mrs. 
Murray's. It is all too terrible, except that a stingless 
death crowned one of the loveliest lives ever lived. 
She was everything to me, whether present or absent 
the inspiration of all my literary work, my best public ; 
my home and fireside, my most intimate and con- 
genial friend as well as a " ministering angel " to 
all who came in contact with her in needs of every 
kind. Beloved in life, and mourned in death as few 


are mourned, there is not a memory of her which is 
not lovely, and this to me is at once the sting and the 
solace of her early removal. The people who dared 
not even bring the coffin to the house mourn for her 
as they only mourn for their own, and here, though 
only our own relations were invited to the funeral, 
there was a crowd round the grave of those to whom 
she had been dear and helpful, and to whom life 
would never be quite the same again. Utterly 
deserted as we were it is impossible to speak too 
highly of the noble conduct of Dr. Bishop, who, 
with a large and increasing practice, out of humanity 
sacrificed everything for more than five weeks, during 
which time he never was in bed ; was doctor, friend, 
partially nurse and servant; and at the last, having 
risked his own life and made himself lame for life by 
exerting himself incessantly with a leg which when 
he came had not been broken three weeks, with the 
help of the nurse carried out the coffin, which even 
those who loved her best dared not enter the house to 
remove. It is top soon, and I am too dazed with grief 
and fatigue to think of any future. 

On June 29 she writes again : 

I am going to Thusis, in the Grisons, for six 
weeks, on a visit to some very dear friends whose 
house, for twenty years, has been a second home to 
my sister and myself. I should be glad to hear of any 
one travelling to Zurich after the 7th, as I am not 
used to travel alone on the Continent, and am besides 
much shaken in nerves. 

Will you tell me the latest date when the Japan 
book must be printed. ... I can hardly bear to think 
of the book now. The original letters were written 
to my sister and rewritten in our last happy summer 
in the little cottage at Tobermory, which her early 
death has consecrated to me for ever. 

Isabella spent all August and part of September 
in Switzerland with Miss Clayton and the Miss 
Kers. Rest and quiet were essential both for her 
health and to finish the preparation of her notes 

i88o] CONSOLATION 137 

on Japan, which Mr. Murray wished to publish in 

While she was abroad news came to her of 
Lord Middleton's illness, and her heart went out 
to the friend with whose sad tending she knew so 
well how to sympathise. 

It is wonderful [she wrote] what God does for one 
when human help is helpless, and one is shut up to 
leaning on and trusting Him alone. I have felt Him 
strongly strengthen me in my agony and loneliness, 
and it is worth suffering much to regain the " child 
heart " and its simple faith, and to know whom we 
have believed as near, true, and tender, not a dead 
person, but a living person, who has us and our 
beloved in his keeping for life, or what we call death. 

To another friend she wrote in August : 

I think I can say that God has comforted and sus- 
tained me, or I should utterly have fainted, but the 
sorrow is very sore and often threatens to overwhelm 
me. We were truly everything to each other and our 
companionship was perfect and carried on even in 
absence by our detailed and daily letters. I often 
told her that she was "my world." She was so 
essential in every respect to my happiness, and things 
without her have lost nearly all their interest. She 
was lovely in her life, following Christ in all things, 
and lovely in her death, so much so that death in 
her case nardly seemed like dying. I had no idea 
till now of the powerful influence that my gentle 
darling exercised, or how widely she was beloved. 
I pray that He who strengthened her for lowly 
service may strengthen me to follow her ; but oh ! 
I do long so for the Father's House and the gathered 
family, and freedom from sin and from the constant 
effort to grasp the unseen. 

When Miss Bird returned with her friends to 
Edinburgh she halted only two days, and then went 
to Tobermory, longing for and yet shrinking from 
the memories and associations of The Cottage. 


Perhaps she had too strong a drawing towards 
sorrow, a yielding to invincible grief, but her home 
had ever been to her the dearest place on earth, 
her parents and her sister had ever filled and satisfied 
her heart, so that, in spite of a myriad interests and 
countless friends, her thoughts dwelt chiefly with 
them, and she worked and carried out her projects 
stimulated and supported by their presence, whether 
actual or subconscious. Each loss at home crushed 
her and her only comfort came from God, until in 
His good time gain from His consolations fortified 
her spirit. The immediate gain was won in her 
effort to take up Henrietta's work in Tobermory. 
For a time nothing interested her beyond the papers, 
which she busied herself in arranging, and the 
garden, which she tended, planting and digging 
herself. Her Unbeaten Tracks in Japan was published 
and she put the parcel of copies away without 
opening it. 

The things I am interested in are her interests, 
and for her sake I have become attached to Tober- 
mory. The Cottage is looking lovely ; I have replaced 
all the things which were given away and have 
brought more drawings of hers for the walls, and 
it is exactly as it used to be except that it is " filled 
with absence." I love it so. We were so happy 
here last year. She is never out of my thoughts, 
a living memory and a living hope. I sometimes 
feel as if to have known her well was enough to 
lead any one to heaven. She was indeed, as many 
of the people here call her in Gaelic, " the Blessed 

From that calmer mood of memory she rose into 
a nobler mood of activity, a better tribute to the 
example which she followed. In November she 
wrote to Lady Middleton : 


I came here on October i. It was such agony that 
I thought I must leave by the next steamer ; but as 
days went by and human interests claimed me, and 
there was help to be given and dying people to be 
comforted, the first anguish calmed into a sorrow of 
exquisite pain and intensity, but without bitterness 
or repining against Him who has sent it, and now 
I think of staying here till near the middle of next 
month. . . . Light surely will break, and, whether in 
the light or in the darkness, there is work to be done, 
thank God, and in work there is always interest. 

By the middle of November this mood revived 
her interest in her book, published in two volumes, 
already in a third edition, and reviewed with a new 
note of admiring respect in The Quarterly Review, 
St. James's Gazette, Scotsman, Athenceum, and many 
other literary journals. She could even feel a certain 
satisfaction in its success, for reasons which she thus 
expresses : " It is not only the record of honest 
and earnest work, but it vindicates the right of a 
woman to do an}^thing which she can do well." 

In writing to Mr. Murray she says : 

I much wish to see what Nature says about the 
Ainos. I am pleased that careful and honest work is 
being appreciated. 

And again : 

Thank you for sending me The Contemporary Review. 
I value Sir R. Alcock's favourable opinion of my book 
more than any other, and especially his high estimate 
of my concluding chapter, which cost me a good deal 
of hard work, and was rewritten three times. ... I 
am pleased with what may be regarded as a triumph 
for a lady traveller, and more highly respect your 
judgment in deciding that Sir E. Reid's book would 
not crush mine, as I certainly feared it would. 
Hitherto not one critic has attached less weight to my 
opinions on the ground of their being those of a 

i 4 o "THE BLESSED ONE" [CHAP, vi 

Her interest in this book may still be shared by us. 
Japan has leapt from rung to rung of the ladder of 
national greatness, and promises to be as leaven to 
the whole East, rousing, vitalising, developing what 
has lain in the valley of dry bones for many centuries. 
For in that island race there glowed living brain and 
eager spirit, and who shall foretell the issue ? Now, 
China responds to her call, and India's foremost 
minds rejoice; and the West recoils already before 
the prowess it inspired. On her deathbed Mrs. Bishop 
watched the conflict with amazement and foreboding, 
incredulous of the smiting of Goliath to the ground, 
for to her Japan was a " little nation," and its Western 
garb clung crudely to its Eastern form, as the armour 
of his warrior brother to David. She died too soon to 
realise how mighty was the rebirth, how astonishing 
the spirit breathed into the nostrils of Japan, how 
quickly^its form responded to the spirit. She had 
seen the country half awake, its remoter parts still 
dormant, and she .feared that the colossal foe must 

But just because she gives so candid and so literal 
an account of the country a quarter of a century ago, 
her book has the value of accurate history, and cannot 
be excluded from the reference books of a conscien- 
tious student of the Oriental revival. A few months 
ago, on board a steamer between Japan and Korea, 
an Englishman asked a Japanese fellow passenger 
what modern book would give him the best idea of 
Japan. " Bird's Japan is the most valuable," was the 
answer u it describes the interior better than any 
more recently written." And that is just its great 
merit still. Towns, villages, watering-places, rivers, 
mountains, valleys, roads, tea-houses, inns, industries, 
schools, and family life, as these were in 1879 as they 


are in some districts still are unflinchingly photo- 
graphed on the spot, in vigorous word-pictures, by 
that keen and unrelenting observation. She admired 
much, she censured much, and in what country can 
a candid and observant traveller do otherwise ? 

Miss Bird was working hard for Henrietta's poor, 
and growing to like Tobermory better than she had 
done before, so that she felt regret at leaving The 
Cottage on December 16, although she fully realised 
the disadvantages of the situation, and wrote to 
Mr. Murray : 

The great drawback of Mull in the winter is the 
irregular and often suspended post, as, for instance, 
there have been two days within a week in which the 
post-boat has been unable to cross, and almost always 
when that occurs the gale has been severe enough to 
prostrate a number of the Mull telegraph poles. Thus, 
amidst howling storms, without letters, newspapers, 
or telegraph possibilities, the isolation is very trying ; 
but my nerves are so shattered that I need complete 
rest, and that I have here, with a sufficient amount of 
human interest to make the endurance of solitude 
wholesome. The Highlanders have some very charm- 
ing qualities, but in cunning, moral timidity, and 
plausibility they remind me of savages of rather a 
low type. 

She stayed a fortnight with Miss Clayton and 
the Miss Kers at 28 Rutland Square, in Edinburgh, 
before going farther south. 

The consoling influence of Dr. Bishop's devoted 
love was reaching her heart at last. Her engagement 
to him took place early in December. He had passed 
through the furnace of her affliction with her, and 
only he knew what those last sacred scenes had been 
in May. It had long been Henrietta's wish that her 
sister should accept his unselfish love ; but had she 
lived, Isabella would probably have continued to 


refuse him. Her letters of December indicate the 
growth of her deep and almost reverent regard for his 
exquisite character. She wrote to Lady Middleton : 

I earnestly pray that I may be able to return in 
some degree the most unique, self-sacrificing, utterly 
devoted love that I have ever seen, and that I may 
find calm, and he happiness, while my life lasts. 

And in a later letter she continues : 

I have accepted the faithful love which has for so 
long been mine, and which asks for nothing but 
that when the final parting comes I may be able 
to say " you have made me less miserable." Ah ! 
but I hope it may be more than this, and that a love 
so unselfish, though it cannot heal the grief, or fill 
the vacancy, may as time goes on soothe and comfort, 
that he may be happy and that I may know at least 
a thankful rest. Our marriage is to be in England 
in early March. 

Dr. Bishop was a welcome guest at 28 Rutland 
Square, where all knew and loved him, and he spent 
his evenings there, reading aloud to them Whittier's 
Poems during those weeks in December. 

Miss Bird went south in January to visit relatives 
and to make arrangements for her marriage. Her 
cousin, Major Wilberforce Bird, suggested that it 
should take place at Barton House, the old family 
home in Warwickshire. 



DR. JOHN BISHOP was born in Sheffield in 1841, and 
came to Edinburgh at the age of twenty-five, to 
complete the study of medicine, which he had begun 
in England. After taking his degree he acted as 
Professor Lister's house surgeon and subsequently 
had charge of Dr. Matthews Duncan's, Dr. Keith's, 
and Dr. Grainger Stewart's wards. In May, 1872, 
he began to practise as physician and surgeon in 
Edinburgh, and was soon a favourite amongst his 
patients, who belonged to the more intellectual class 
of that generation. He made valuable contributions 
to various medical dictionaries and reviews in the 
first years of his general practice. From its com- 
mencement he attended Henrietta Bird, introduced 
by his friend Dr. Murray Mitchell. His study of 
histological botany first attracted Isabella Bird's 
interest towards him, and they worked together, 
using the microscope for practical research. Then 
his admirable treatment of her sister called out her 
gratitude and recognition of his medical skill, and 
this was endorsed by the favourable opinions of his 
worth both as a doctor and a man held by Edinburgh's 
best surgeons and professors. 

Professional deepened into friendly relations, his 
ardent intellectual sympathies were attracted and held 



by Isabella's astonishing mental power, and her many 
delightful gifts. 

It was not wonderful that, unconsciously to herself, 
she should soon become enshrined in the temple of 
his heart. His was a nature of a rare simplicity 
and purity ; and upon the writer, who knew and 
partially understood him, the impression made was 
that of a man whose thoughts were not so much 
unworldly as crystal-clear from the source of thought, 
penetrated by its knowledge, shaped by its wisdom, 
made tender by its vast charity. He was gifted with 
an absolute selflessness, for ever going out towards 
suffering with a keen desire to bear it for others. 
This quality, which the word chivalry but feebly 
expresses, is the birth-mark of the saviour, wherever 
he is found, and it ruled his impulses as inevitably as 
the rhythmic beat of life his body. Few noticed this 
grace of character, but it was his soul's breath and 
by it he lived. 

Isabella was conscious of all this, and part of 
her nature turned to him for the help it needed, 
only part at first, although she was soon to awake 
wholly to the forceful spirituality of the man, who 
stayed so short a time at her side, but left her a 
changed woman, who had caught 

A new light thrown on things, 
Contagion from the magnanimity 
O' the man whose life lay on his hand so light, 
As up he stepped, pursuing duty still 
"Higher and harder," as he laughed and said. 

Before her marriage she avoided discussion of 
her motives, but her friend Mr. Dunlop asked her 
playfully if it were possible that one so filled as she 
was with high purposes could be so prosaic and like 
other people. Pausing a moment, she answered 


gently, " I trust that I am too full of human sympathy 
to be quite impervious to these impressions." 

She was working intermittently during the latter 
half of January, 1881, and completed an able analytical 
sketch of Dr. Candlish for the March number of 
The Catholic Presbyterian Magazine. It was suggested 
by Dr. Wilson's Life of Robert S. Candlish, just then 
published by Messrs. A. & C. Black, but was rather 
an estimate of the man as she had known and admired 
him than a review of his biography. Both she and 
her sister often went to hear the old Disruption hero, 
orator, and divine, whose good qualities they both 
appreciated. Miss Bird's article is singularly well 
informed and clear-sighted, penetrating beyond the 
outer man into the deep-hearted preacher, pastor, 
and scholar, and expressing his value as a combative 
debater and church-leader. 

It was good for her to be plunged into this some- 
what difficult mental exercise during her stay in 
England, where she spent some weeks before her 
marriage, one of them with Lord and Lady Middleton 
in South Street, Mayfair. One afternoon she came 
in at tea-time wearing a moderately thick jacket. The 
weather was bitterly cold and the frozen streets made 
traffic almost impossible. 

I asked her [writes Lady Middleton] to take off her 
jacket in the warm room, but she refused and, when 
I pressed, said laughingly, " I have no other bodice." 
I once asked a doctor about this, and he said, "Such 
power of bearing cold means a physically large heart." 
The late Queen Victoria was another to whom cold 
mattered little for the same cause. At that very tea 
she stated her intention of being married in her deep 
mourning; my Scotch superstition rebelled and we 
had an argument, but she held to her intention. I 
confess I felt a little sorry for the then to me unknown 
fiance, for I believed she was marrying him, as it were, 



under protest. But she came to love him truly after- 
wards, as her letters prove. Her real self was buried 
then in her sister's grave. 

Miss Bird's marriage took place on March 8, 1881, 
at the little church of St. Lawrence, Barton-on-the- 
Heath, in Warwickshire, her cousin, Major Wilberforce 
Bird, giving her away. The rector of the parish, the 
Rev. Arthur Nettleship, and the Rev. the Hon. Walter 
R. Verney, whose wife was Major Bird's daughter, 
performed the ceremony. The bride was in deep 
mourning and there were no wedding guests. It was 
peace she sought, not joy, and the little group round 
the altar that day harmonised with the old ancestral 
tombs and tablets on the walls rather than with 
the marriage bells that pealed as they left for Barton 

Mrs. Bishop described her husband to Lady Middleton 
in a letter written soon afterwards : 

He is about, or a little under the middle height, 
very plain, wears spectacles and is very grey, but his 
face is redeemed by eyes which Sir Noel Paton says 
are " beautiful from their purity," and a high, broad, 
intellectual brow. He is very intellectual and studious, 
very receptive and appreciative intellectually, and very 
able, much cultured, with very artistic tastes, but no 
artistic facility, passionately fond of nature, very 
diffident, not calculated to shine socially, or to pro- 
duce a favourable impression at first \ with a simple, 
truthful, loyal, unselfish nature and unfathomable 
depths of love and devotion. A character of truer, 
simpler worth could not be found. 

If the "spark from heaven" had not yet kindled 
her heart towards John Bishop, she reverenced and 
admired him more than she did any man living ; and if 
we remember that she was in her fiftieth year when she 
married, we can hardly wonder that the dreamy rapture 
of romantic love was absent from her heart, though 


From a sketch by herself. 

l8 8i] DEPRESSION 147 

it was replaced by absolute trust and sincere affection. 
Indeed, she still kept the " cruel fellowship of sorrow," 
was still " drunk with loss." When she returned to 
Edinburgh with her husband, her first preoccupation 
was her grief and loneliness. 

It would have been wiser [she wrote to Lady 
Middleton] to have broken away altogether from the 
old life and circumstances rather than to attempt to 
gather up their fragments. She was my world] I 
ventured all that I had to give upon her life, and 
exhausted my power of absorbing love upon her. 
She was the inspiration of anything worth doing that 
I ever did, and I am now reaching despairingly after 
the life that she lives away from me. 

Dr. Bishop, with tender consideration for this mood, 
suggested to her a fortnight's change at The Cottage, 
and, in spite of the pain of every revived memory, it 
did her good. The barren wilderness of modern 
Edinburgh society, into which her return almost 
forcibly projected her, with its sterile talk, its 
curiosity, and its dull range of personal interests, 
had much to do with her depression for she felt 
less overwhelmed at Tobermory, where " Nature was 
the same and her changelessness so soothing." 

She needed solitude again and again cave, cot, or 
cell the place where her mind could recover from 
the fretful, arid, thriftless energising of conventionality. 

A tender little note to Mrs. Macdiarmid belongs 
to this stay at The Cottage : 

I feel that many days would not exhaust what you 
could tell me about her. What you told me at her 
grave comforts me ; but she could not know what her 
loss would be, or how I loved her, or how all my days 
would be darkened, because she "is not." It was a 
mercy that she did not know that she was going, for I 
think she would have mourned so much over what her 
loss would be to others. 


On her return to Edinburgh the occupations in- 
cident to her settling down in a place where she 
had already an almost unmanageable circle of ac- 
quaintances filled every day. Dr. Bishop had taken 
12 Walker Street as their home, and part of the old 
furniture, which she had stored after leaving 3 Castle 
Terrace, was used for the bedrooms and for Mrs. 
Bishop's own writing-room. The drawing-room was 
beautiful, and had the charm of originality, for her 
bronzes and embroideries gave it an Oriental char- 
acter, sustained by Eastern cabinets and the palms 
which stood in the daimio's bath. Her rare lacquer, 
Satsuma and Nagasaki china, and antique bronzes were 
very different from the cheap ware in these materials 
which flooded the market to gratify a momentary 
caprice. A pair of the bronzes represented two 
mythical heroes of Japan twins, like Castor and 
Pollux, but, unlike the Roman brethren, rogues and 
vagabonds of the worst description, who lived by 
the abnormal length of legs possessed by one and 
of arms possessed by the other. The long-legged 
brother forded rivers and climbed mountains with 
the dwarf upon his shoulders, and the latter looked 
into all the houses which they passed, stretched out 
his telescopic arms and abstracted food, sake, vessels, 
and clothing as they required. These bronzes were 
candlesticks, and Japanese humorists had modelled 
exquisite lotus-blossoms to receive the candles a 
flower which, in their symbolism, is the emblem of 
righteousness just as if the scamps were pressing 
upwards to attain it. 

The lease of Henrietta's cottage in Tobermory 
having nearly expired, Dr. Bishop decided to renew 
it, as the Highland home served as a retreat where 
Isabella could rest, write, garden, and visit her 

i88i] IN THE COTTAGE 149 

sister's poor. He had promised her that, when 
the need of travel awoke, she should go to what- 
ever end of the earth beckoned to her, and he 
used to say, " I have only one formidable rival 
in Isabella's heart, and that is the high tableland of 
Central Asia." But during the few and anxious 
years of her married life she never left him except 
for a short resting-space. A letter to Mrs. Greaves 
Bagshawe, written during the few weeks spent at 
Tobermory in 1881, gives a picture of her in The 
Cottage : 

I am sitting in the low foldings-chair that you gave 
me, in the sweet sitting-room in the house which 
she created, and which is consecrated by lovely 
memories of her lovely life and serene happiness. 
God only knows what it is to sit here alone, and yet 
the very anguish, because it is so full ofiher, is dearer 
to me than all else. ... I try to carry out her wishes 
here and elsewhere as much as I can, but all that I can 
dp is so poor and shadowy compared with what she 
did. Here her interests have become mine, and I am 
devotedly attached to the place and people. We are 
just renewing the lease of The Cottage. It is a shrine, 
but a pivot also. If we gave it up, I could not in any 
way carry out her work, for which personal know- 
ledge and sympathies are so largely needed. My 
husband is considerate, devoted, and unselfish beyond 
anything I have ever seen. His love is truly won- 
derful. For him I regret the incurable nature of my 
grief, though he asks nothing but to be allowed to try 
to soothe it. My book on Japan is being translated 
into German for publication at Jena in October. It is 
in a fourth edition, both here and in America. I have 
written nothing this year but a sketch (analytical) of 
the character of Dr. Candlish. I hope after a time 
that I may be able to write again, as I have much left 
to say, but Dr. Stewart lately enjoined rest for four 

Early in September, Kalakaua, the King of 
Hawaii-nei, arrived in Edinburgh, where he was the 


guest of Mr. and Mrs. Macfie, of Dreghorn Castle. 
After being present at a grand conclave of the Knights 
of the Red Cross of Constantine, he lunched with 
his old friend Mrs. Bishop and her husband at 
12 Walker Street, and there conferred on her the 
Hawaiian Literary Order of Kapiolani. She wrote 
to Mr. Macfie prior to the king's arrival : 

He is a very unassuming man, who would be 
pleased with the humblest lodging, and will be 
delighted with Dreghorn. I think it would be both 
fitting and kind if you offered him hospitality during 
his stay, and Dr. Bishop and I would have great 
pleasure in being your guests. 

Another incident of the month was Queen Victoria's 
visit to the Infirmary, where Mrs. Bishop had the 
privilege of seeing her. " She looked radiant and 
noble, and so very well and young for her years." 

Dr. Bishop snatched a brief holiday late in 
September; and after visits near the highest part of 
the Peak, and to Peterborough, he wrote from The 
Elms, Houghton : 

Here we have had a time of rest and brightness 
all too short. Isabella showed me Cromwell's school, 
Cowper's house, the church of which Cromwell's 
father was a churchwarden, and we have made 
pilgrimages to the lovely home of her father's later 
ministry. Yesterday she rowed me on the Ouse 
past the rectory, to Hartford Church, with its one 
set of arches Norman, the opposite ones very early 
English. Your heart will tell you how delighful all 
this is to me, and how full of pathos and tenderest 
interest to both of us. 

When they returned, Dr. Bishop sent his wife for 
a few days to Tobermory, where she caught a chill 
by helping to put out a fire which threatened The 
Cottage in the middle of a bitterly cold night. 


Immediately afterwards she was summoned to 
Edinburgh by the illness of her husband an illness 
which was to overshadow, with but few brief intervals, 
the whole of her married life. 

On Sunday night [she wrote to Lady Middleton 
early in November] it came on to blow a full gale 
from the S.E. On Monday morning, just after the 
daily steamer had left, came a telegram from two 
doctors saying that my husband was ill and asking 
me to come at once. I offered 100 to any boatman 
who would get me to Oban for the night train, but 
the answer was that if it could be done they would 
do it for love, and indeed the Sound was yeasty with 
foam and smoking with spindrift. Four telegrams 
arrived that miserable day twenty-three hours of 
helpless waiting. I left on Tuesday morning, but 
the train stuck twice in the snow, and I did not arrive 
till late, but found him better. He had a severe 
relapse on Wednesday evening, and a tendency to 
failure of the heart on Thursday morning, but since 
then has been improving steadily. He performed an 
operation on a foreign sailor in the erysipelas ward 
01 the fever hospital on Friday, having, they tell me, 
a slight scratch on his face, and came back with 
shiverings and sickness. Every organ except the 
brain has been affected ; the eyes and back of the 
head were exceedingly bad. Such angelic quiescence, 
sweetness, and unselfishness I have only seen once 
before. The servants said they thought he would 
not get better because he was so good ! I now think 
that his recovery will be rapid, although he is not 
out of bed yet. 

When he was able to travel they went to Seaton 
Carew Vicarage to visit the Lawsons, and thence, 
on November 24, to Birdsall House. It was during 
this visit that the inventor of a new side-saddle, 
low and level, sent Mrs. Bishop a specimen in 
deference to her prowess as a horsewoman. Lady 
Middleton remembers how " she insisted on having 
it put on a mettlesome, high-bred, sixteen hands 


hunter, and climbed up to try the seat, but it was an 
effort, and rather alarmed me and the horse, who 
never quite forgot it when mounted in future." 

To accompany her husband on Saturdays she was 
breaking herself into " elderly rides " on a side-saddle, 
but felt " a crippled fool " all the time. 

This long visit did both invalids good. 

I think [wrote Mrs. Bishop after their return to Edin- 
burgh], in his secret heart, he has always associated 
grace and charm with the cloven hoof, and I watched 
silently and with amusement the struggle going on 
in his mind and his complete surrender. To-day he 
said: "I am thinking of Lady Middleton. What a 
wonderful influence she must have ! She's unearthly." 

Early in 1882, while Dr. Bishop recovered sufficiently 
to resume both his practice and his Infirmary work, 
Mrs. Bishop was seriously ill and in continuous pain 
from a succession of carbuncles, which formed close 
to her spine and just where the operation for fibrous 
tumour had been performed in her girlhood. During 
the following weeks she was practically an invalid ; 
and being in Edinburgh for a short period, I spent 
many hours with her and made her husband's 
acquaintance. I recollect his keen enjoyment in being 
read to aloud, and in his first introduction to Robert 
Browning's poems, which he demanded every evening. 
Four afternoon parties were given in February, forty 
guests at each, chiefly to show the Polynesian and 
Japanese curios, the former of which attracted special 
notice because of King Kalakaua's recent visit. This 
indeed had reawakened public interest in the Sand- 
wich Islands, and a whole new edition of her book was 
sold during this winter. The volumes on Japan had 
also achieved a marked success and yielded a very 
satisfactory return of profits, so that she wrote with 

i88 2 ] VISITORS 153 

warmth, " I, at all events, have no cause to complain 
of my publishers." 

In March Bishop Burdon and Mrs. Burdon arrived 
from South China and stayed a fortnight with Dr. and 
Mrs. Bishop, who planned medical missionary drawing- 
room meetings and breakfasts for them and helped them 
to carry through their plans. The cause of medical 
missions was strongly advocated by Dr. Bishop, and 
he spared no trouble to prosper it, being convinced 
that it was based upon sound principles and had been 
adopted by Christ Himself, not only in His personal 
ministry, but in His instructions to those of His dis- 
ciples whom He commissioned to teach His Gospel 
and whom He qualified with healing power. 

When April came, the anxieties and strain of winter 
had reduced Mrs. Bishop to prostration, and she fled 
for a week to Tobermory, taking with her a traveller's 
store of provisions and cooking-pans, for her Cottage 
housekeeper was very ill and she did not wish to 
supplant her with a stranger. Mrs. Macdonald and 
her daughter came to the rescue and helped her 
daily. The weather was glorious, though snow 
crowned the hills, so she could walk a little and visit 
ill her Tobermory friends, and she was somewhat 

>ted by the i8th, when she returned to Edinburgh, 
let at Falkirk by Dr. Bishop. The very next day 
found her entertaining forty-six people at afternoon 
tea, and till May 6 she was engulfed in the usual 
Edinburgh vortex. 

During her absence, Dr. Bishop dined every 
evening with Professor and Mrs. Blackie. He had 
strongly advised Professor Blackie to give up his 
chair of Greek in Edinburgh University, as acute 
illness of some duration that spring pointed towards 
resignation, and the wise old Scot accepted his 


physician's dictum with cheerfulness. Every evening 
after dinner some favourite poem of Robert 
Browning's was read ; but in spite of anxious efforts 
to appreciate it, Dr. Bishop could not reach the level 
of enthusiasm demanded by the reader. Mrs. Bishop 
wrote to Mrs. Blackie about the Professor's resignation: 

After it appeared in the papers, John showed me 
his letter to him, which I thought wise, wholesome, 
and beautiful. I trust you will be greatly relieved 
by this decision. You made my husband so happy 
at your home. With his loving and grateful nature 
you have made him your slave for life. It was a 
most kind thought, and it was such a relief to me 
to think that he was being cared for. I am doing 
some literary work, but the glow has faded from it, 
as from all else except nature, which I love more 
than ever since my darling died. She, as I always 
told her, was my inspiration. I work listlessly and 
wearily now and care nothing either for fame or 

The " literary work " was her notes of the Malay 
Peninsula. These were in the accustomed form 
of letters to her sister, to whose " Beloved Memory" 
the book was eventually dedicated. Perhaps her 
health was more accountable for her listlessness 
and weariness than her loss, but she had allowed 
herself to be captured by a morbid obsession regarding 
that loss which the special character of her ailments 
fostered. This morbid strain exaggerated her personal 
moods. When she conquered its influence and went 
out in large sympathy towards others, she was clear- 
headed, wise and practical. Happily, she was 
normally conscious of this entanglement of physio- 
logical with emotional depression and could combat 
it, but after exhausting work, illness, or grief she 
yielded to its recurrence. 

On May 6 Dr. and Mrs. Bishop went to London, 


where they spent ten days together, he returning 
to his work on the i5th, when she crossed the 
Channel, halted at Paris to hear two addresses, and 
took the night train to Turin on the i8th. Miss 
Clayton and her friends were at Cadenabbia, where 
Mrs. Bishop joined them on the 2oth. From that 
date till July 8 she was at the Italian Lakes and 
in Switzerland and Tyrol, but the only mention of 
her travels, except the barest diary jottings, occurs 
in a letter to Mrs. Blackie, dated August 5 : 

Switzerland was very nice, but I don't like the Swiss, 
and, after the frank, genial manners of the people of 
Northern Italy, I found them specially ungracious. 
The most delightful place we were at was Soglio, high 
up above the chestnut woods of the lovely Val 
Bregaglia, where we lived in an old palace of the de 
Salis, built in 1538, and with furniture of the sixteenth 
century, looking across to the glaciers and snow-fields 
of the Val Bendasca. That was the kind of place that 
I like. 

On returning to London in July, she found a " mild 
ovation " awaiting her, and many invitations. She 
visited Mr. Murray several times, one of the occasions 
being an evening party of a hundred and twenty 
people, including Miss Gordon Cumming, Miss North, 

id other famous travellers "very pleasant," she 
:omments. On July 18 she went home, Dr. Bishop 
meeting her at Galashiels. 

During all these summer weeks she had been busy 
with The Golden Chersonese, and complained even in 
Switzerland of the listlessness which dogged her 
efforts at work. Traces of this are indeed observable 
in the volume, but perhaps the subject was scarcely 
so inspiring as those of her earlier books. The Golden 
Chersonese is far more valuable from a practical than 
from a literary point of view, and a brief five weeks 


full of discomforts and dangers, in a land where she 
had no opportunity of becoming acquainted with the 
people, and where therefore her experiences were 
amongst the residents and their entourage, did not 
provide her pen with that panoramic variety which 
made Unbeaten Tracks in Japan so delightful. She 
was, in fact, driven to study up the subject from both 
standard and official sources of information, and to 
work in, with her adventures, a number of admirable 
chapters devoted to the history, geography, and 
economic features of the little-known peninsula. 
These, as she tells us in a footnote to the preface, 
were based upon annual reports and upon the two 
main authorities for the Malayan Peninsula. 

Professor Blackie was that autumn preparing his 
Wisdom of Goethe, of whom and of the Professor she 
wrote on August 6: 

Professor Blackie lunched with me lately, looking 
very well and in great spirits. He is at present 
pounding Goethe into people as a pattern of moral 
excellence. I have no admiration for an exclusively 
artistic nature which deliberately puts sorrow, suffering, 
and evil out of its picture of life, because they won't 
" compose," and at the best this was Goethe's nature. 
At the worst, perhaps " Rab " was not far wrong 
when he epitomised Goethe's Life by Lewes as " a 
beast writing the life of a beast." I wish that Professor 
Blackie, one of the whitest souls among men, would 
not be so tempestuous in his defence of Goethe's 
morals and views on morals. 

Nor did she express her opinion less explicitly to 
the Professor himself, when she wrote after the 
appearance of his volume of extracts : 

Goethe is always fascinating, and you make him 
still more so, but personally, the preponderance of the 
purely artistic element in his nature repels me. When 


I admire him, it is with an intellectual appreciation of 
the vigour, brilliancy, culture, and many-sidedness 
of his intellect, but I am not in sympathy with his 

She had derived considerable benefit from Switzer- 
land, so we find her energetically busy during the 
rest of summer with work, hospitality, and tricycling, 
and there is not a single allusion to her own health 
either in letters or diary. On August 23 she went 
to Tobermory for a month, and this improvement 
lasted and enabled her to go daily amongst her 
neighbours amongst whom were Bishop Burdon and 
his wife to entertain them constantly at The Cottage, 
to work in her little garden, to row herself across 
the bay to Aros House, and to spend her mornings 
and evenings at her Golden Chersonese. 

When she returned to Edinburgh late in September 
she found her husband far from well. They had 
hoped to spend his holiday together at Ford, in 
Derbyshire, and at Birdsall, but the Infirmary held 
him fast till near the end of October, when his illness 
became sufficiently serious to keep him in bed for 
some days and to upset their plan of paying visits. 
Mrs. Bishop explained his condition to Lady Middleton 
in a letter dated December 10. The blood-poisoning 
of the previous autumn was not eradicated. It 
was sapping at the quality of his blood, and the 
slightest over-exhaustion or chill neither one nor 
the other avoidable in his work brought on a tem- 
porary collapse. When he was convalescent, a change 
was advisable. 

He was only up to very short journeys, so we went 
to Moffat and Hexham, and explored the Roman 
Wall in a high, double dogcart, and then went to 
two rectories in the south of Durham among my 


kin, and then to Canon Tristram's at Durham, to 
revel in Durham Cathedral. 

Lady Middleton wished her to write a memoir of 
Henrietta, and in the letter quoted already she gave 
reasons for her hesitation : 

I cannot yet attempt the beautiful life which you 
wot of. Every hunt among my sister's papers and 
every attempt to put on paper anything about her 
brings on such violent physical agitation, succeeded 
by collapse, that I feel, for my husband's sake, I must 
wait for more strength before I begin the labour of 
love. It is awfully lonely to be the last of one's family, 
and to have no one to share one's early memories and 
with whom to recall the delightful peculiarities and 
individualities of father and mother, and all the 
beloved events and trifles which made up the past. 
Sorrow and I must walk hand in hand till, through 
" the grave and gate of death," I pass alone into the 
world where there shall be "no more death, neither 
sorrow nor crying." My husband is perfect in character 
and perfect in love, my devoted lover yet, and I try to 
conceal from him how much I suffer. 

She continues : 

I have quite given up making calls, and find the 
relief indescribable. It is almost freedom. We accept 
two dinner invitations weekly. I am "at home" every 
Friday afternoon ; I give small, cosy afternoon teas, 
and go to my friends when they let me know that I 
shall find them, and consider that I pay my debt to 
society. My spine is considerably worse, and I go up 
and down stairs with so much difficulty, and am so 
altogether unable to drive over pavements, that giving 
up calls was a necessity, but at the same time I don't 
find poor people's stairs present such insurmountable 
difficulties ! 

She refreshed herself with microscopic work, and 
went twice a week to the Botanic Gardens to 
Professor Balfour's lectures on "Microscopic Crypto- 
gamic Botany," and delighted in their marvellous 


revelations. She was already a good botanist, as 
her remarkable observation of plants in the Sandwich 
Islands and in Japan revealed, and she constantly 
enlarged her study of the various departments of 
vegetable life. Indeed, her great horticultural know- 
ledge induced the principals of a firm for importing 
foreign trees and plants for acclimatisation to offer 
her a large commission if she would undertake to 
be their agent, an appointment which she did not 
accept. Some passages in The Golden Chersonese 
illustrate this power of noting plants as she passed 
through a tropical jungle. Here is one from the 
letter describing her journey from Larut to Kwala 
Kangsa in Perak : 

In the day's journey I counted one hundred and 
twenty-six differing trees and shrubs, fifty-three trailers, 
seventeen epiphytes, and twenty-eight ferns. I saw 
more of the shrubs and epiphytes than I have yet 
done, from the altitude of an elephant's back. There 
was an Asplenium nidus, which had thirty-seven 
perfect fronds radiating from a centre, each frond 
irom three and a quarter to five and a half feet long, 
and varying from myrtle to the freshest tint of pea- 
green! There was an orchid with hardly visible 
leaves, which bore six crowded clusters of flowers 
close to the branch of the tree on which it grew, 
each cluster composed of a number of spikes of red 
coral tipped with pale green. In the openings there 
were small trees with gorgeous erythrina-like flowers, 
glowing begonias, red lilies, a trailer with trumpet- 
shaped blossoms of canary yellow, and a smaller 
trailer which climbs over everything that is not high, 
entwining itself with the blue thunbergia, and bearing 
on single stalks single blossoms, primrose-shaped, of 
a salmon-orange colour, with a velvety black centre. 
In some places one came upon three varieties of 
nepenthes, or " monkey-cups," some of their pitchers 
holding (I should think) a pint of fluid, and most of 
them packed with the skeletons of betrayed guests ; 
then in moist places upon steel-blue aspleniums and 


luxuriant selaginellas, and then came caelogynes with 
white blossoms, white-flowered dendrobiums all 
growing on or clinging to trees, with scarlet-veined 
banksias, caladiums, gingerworts, and aroids 
inclining one to make incessant exclamations of 
wonder and delight. 

All December and January she was occupied with 
the manuscript and proofs of this book, which she 
finished on February 7, 1883. The Leisure Hour was 
favoured with three chapters on the subject, called 
" Sketches in Malay Peninsula " but the book itself 
was published by Mr. Murray in April, under the 
title, which her sister chose for it four years earlier, 
The Golden Chersonese. Its starting-point is China, and 
five of the letters are descriptive of Hong Kong and 
Canton, while three deal with Saigon and Singapore. 
The long introductory chapter, and from Letter IX. 
to the end embracing altogether 278 pages are 
occupied with the Malay Peninsula, and an immense 
amount of valuable information is packed into this 
compass. The book made a favourable impression. 

During the latter part of 1882 Mrs. Bishop had 
another bad spinal attack, and in February and 
March, 1883, was so ill that her hand could hardly 
hold a pen. A series of sleepless nights in January 
preceded this break-down, caused partly by anxiety 
respecting Dr. Bishop, who was working at full 
pressure and growing whiter and more delicate every 
week, though he persisted in fulfilling his daily duties 
in every detail. By April she was better and fled 
to Tobermory, where she regained her vigour, put 
the garden in order planting and sowing and visited 
all her sister's friends, rich and poor. 

In June she went to London where, after a fort- 
night of movement and almost of gaiety, luncheons, 

i88 3 ] CONSULTATIONS 161 

dinners, rides in the Park, visits to the Health 
Exhibition and the Academy, she was joined by her 
husband and together they left for Canterbury and 
St. Leonards on June 22. 

After a few days' rest by the sea they went to 
Devonshire to carry out a plan made in May, a 
driving and riding tour which lasted three weeks, 
and which included all that was beautiful in cathedral, 
church, castle, and coast in that county. It is startling 
to read of this energetic enterprise on the part of two 
invalids, but it is certain that both greatly enjoyed it. 
Alas ! for one of them it was too hazardous. By 
July 1 8 Dr. Bishop was once more so ill that they 
had to halt at Clifton to consult Dr. Shaw. They 
were due at The Butts, Westbury, the home of 
Mrs. Merttins Bird and her daughter, who although 
themselves absent, had invited them to make use 
of their house for a few days, on their way to the 
deanery at Llandaff. But Dr. Bishop grew rapidly 
worse and the local doctors gave up all hope of his 
recovery. Four consultations were held and Pro- 
fessors Grainger Stewart and Greenfield came from 
Edinburgh to attend one of these, but they had little 
encouragement to offer. In August it seemed as if 
the end were very near. On the i4th Mrs. Bishop 
wrote to Lady Middleton, who had a short time 
earlier suffered a week of almost despairing suspense 
about Lord Middleton : 

On our way to the Dean of Llandaft's, we were 
stranded here a month ago, and often, often I wonder 
if I shall at last go forth alone. My dear, gentle, 
devoted husband, after goading the weary brain and 
body up to the verge of paralysis, is now laid down 
to rest, a white and wasted form just moved from 
bed to a couch by the fire, or on very fine days to 
a couch outside the window, and fed with milk, wine, 



brandy and egg, or beef-tea every two hours. It is 
such a strange and still life all doing in the present 
and all planning for the future at an end. God only 
knows what the result is to be. The doctors give 
little hope of recovery. 

On September 9 she wrote again : 

He has become a skeleton with transparent white 
hands, and his face is nothing but a beard and beau- 
tiful eyes. He is always happy; everything, however 
distressing, is " all right." He says that these weeks 
have been the happiest time of his life. His mind is 
very clear and bright ; he is full of fun, interest, and 
thought for others. My aunt speaks of the " sweet 
dignity of his self-control," and his utter selflessness a 
thing beyond unselfishness. I nursed him entirely day 
and night for six weeks ; but when he came to require 
lifting, I sent for the splendid woman who nursed my 
sister, and who saw him then so strong for others. 
She quite adores him, and it is a great comfort to me 
to have a person who knows something of my husband. 
On Saturday week he was sinking so fast that the 
doctors said he would not see midnight, and on the 
following Monday he nearly sank. " My love is 
the love of eternity," he whispered, as I wiped what 
was believed to be the death-dew from his brow. We 
are now fighting death inch by inch. It is an awful 
time. Death may occur at any moment from "fatal 
syncope"; but perhaps even now God will hear 
prayer, and preserve that useful, unselfish, stainless 
life. I now realise that his devoted love has stood 
between me and the worst desolation, ever since he 
led me from the death-chamber at Tobermory. 

The fight was steadfastly maintained, and at last, 
on December 3, some of the more alarming symptoms 
were subdued, and it was possible to remove him 
to London. Mrs. Merttins Bird and her daughter 
had done everything for them both during the 
four and a half months of anxiety. The nurse was 
assisted by a dear young friend from Tobermory, 
whose devotion was an unspeakable relief and 

I8 8 4 ] ST. LEONARDS 163 

support to Mrs. Bishop. Dr. Nicholson and Dr. Shaw 
took him to the station, and Dr. Shaw travelled 
with him to Paddington, where Dr. Dixon and 
Dr. Wright met him, with a carriage sent by Miss 
Poole. They went to the Paddington Hotel for 
three weeks, and here he was constantly visited not 
only by the gentlemen already mentioned, but by 
Sir Andrew Clark and his old professor, Mr. Lister. 
They saw him together on the 5th, but gave no 
definite verdict on that day. It was a case of 
" pernicious anaemia," and its origin was doubtless 
that unfortunate operation on the Swedish sailor 
in the erysipelas ward of Edinburgh Infirmary in 
autumn, 1881, when he forgot the tiny scratch on 
his face, which laid him open to blood-poisoning. 

Their advice was to get him at once to the sea- 
side, so Dr. Dixon accompanied him and Mrs. Bishop 
to St. Leonards, where they remained all January, 
February, and part of March, 1884. There ensued 
at first a great improvement in his general con- 
dition. The weather was brilliant in January, and 
he was often able to go out for an hour in a bath- 
chair. Some cousins of Mrs. Bishop's were staying 
at Hastings, and came constantly to share her nursing, 
reading to him and cheering him. His appetite im- 
proved, and for a time the strain of apprehension 
was relaxed. Two good doctors saw him almost 
daily, and till February the only disquieting circum- 
stance was the recall of his valuable nurse and the 
incompetence of her successors. But then the im- 
provement ceased, and some of the worst symptoms 
reappeared. He was dependent on the weather, as 
are so many sensitive invalids. Constant sickness 
and inability to take food returned. So it was 
decided that he must see Sir Andrew Clark again, 


and Mrs. Bishop took him back to London, where 
a consultation was held on March 18. The verdict, 
if not favourable, was at least not threatening, so 
it was possible for her to leave him in charge of 
hospitable friends, the doctors, and a nurse, and go 
to Edinburgh on the long-delayed business involved 
in dismantling their Edinburgh home, which had 
now to be given up. 

It was a melancholy errand, and involved almost 
heart-breaking work, for time and her husband's 
devotion had gradually strengthened her attachment 
to the house in Walker Street. At last, with the 
help of friends, valuables were taken to the bank 
and the furniture was stored, and she was able to 
take the night train back to London on April 7. 
She had received two telegrams daily, and sometimes 
a letter, from her husband, who was with her friend 
Mrs. Bowman, and she was rejoiced to find him 
looking a little better. 

She longed to take her husband to Tobermory, and 
asked the Macdonalds to superintend some necessary 
preparations. They had been the kindest of neigh- 
bours to Henrietta, and were to prove themselves 
devoted friends to Mrs. Bishop. 

I have wanted to tell you how delighted I was 
with Maggie, and how highly I think of her. A more 
competent, thoughtful helper I could not have had, 
and her gentle, sympathetic, and sweet ways were 
such a comfort to me. She never thought 01 herself, 
and always seemed to know without being told exactly 
what I wanted. She has prudence and tact beyond 
her years a very dear girl. 

The doctors now advised Brighton for her husband, 
and they moved there on April 9, and were joined 
there by Blair, their trusted servant, who helped to 

I8 8 4 j MRS. PETER TAYLOR 165 

nurse him. There can be no doubt that Dr. Bishop's 
health revived in the strong sea air, and he not only 
went out daily in a bath-chair, but was able to go 
for short walks and an occasional long drive. His 
brother came to Brighton, and was his frequent 
companion. Nearly every evening he was massaged ; 
his whole weight at the beginning of their stay was 
eight stone, but he gained flesh before they left. 

It was during this time that Mrs. Bishop made the 
acquaintance of Mrs. Peter Taylor, who spent the last 
twenty years of her life in and near Brighton. Her 
" Wednesdays " at Aubrey House, on Campden Hill, 
had been famous, and in their social and cosmopolitan 
variety had a character of their own. Mrs. Taylor 
was the personal friend of Mazzini, Garibaldi, John 
Stuart Mill, the Grotes, and of many pioneers of 
reform. She collected about her a memorable circle 
of men and women somewhat regardless of their 
poverty or wealth, but with care as to their worth, 
ability, and convictions. Perhaps few are living now 
who remember her lovely face and slight form, the 
delicate lavenders and sea-greens of her dress, her 
clear, penetrating glance, bright laughter, and swift 
wit. Mrs. Bishop appreciated her at once, and went 
to see her often during May, 1884. 

She wrote to Mr. Murray from Brighton in answer 
to his inquiries : 

Under new treatment an improvement has taken 
place, which has been maintained for more than a 
month. Some strength has been gained, and there 
seems now reason to hope for recovery, though by 
very slow degrees. We have sold our Edinburgh 
house, as the doctors have decreed a wandering life 
for eighteen months. A facsimile of my Rocky 
Mountains travelling dress is being exhibited at the 
National Health Exhibition, at the request of the 


Committee. I might have made the exhibit dainty 
and attractive, but it is strictly a working costume, 
such as I shall wear if I travel in outlandish regions 

After five weeks she took her husband back to 
London to ask Sir Andrew Clark's sanction for a 
three months' residence at Tobermory. This was 
given, and they began to move northwards by easy 
stages, one of them being Ilkley, where Dr. Bishop 
enjoyed the moors, and ventured out on the heather 
for brief walks. He was weighed here by Dr. John- 
stone, and found to be nine stone, two pounds. Mrs. 
Bishop left him at Ilkley, and went on to Tobermory 
to make all ready for his coming. During all this 
time she never recorded a word about herself and 
her ailments. Self had passed out of sight in love's 
ministry. Her diary is filled with entries concerning 
him his doctors, nurses, movements, daily condition. 
On July 26 Dr. Bishop arrived by the Pioneer, on 
board which she had made all arrangements for his 
comfort. He seemed wonderfully well after the double 
journey by rail and boat, and was able to stroll up 
to Heanish that very evening. 



WHILE the weather kept up, Dr. Bishop continued 
to improve. Two young doctors, Mrs. Macdonald's 
sons, were at home and took him out boating almost 
daily. His brother came to the new hotel for a 
month, and was his companion, boating or driving. 
He ate better, began to sketch, sat out a great deal, 
made visits and enjoyed those of friends and neigh- 
bours. By the end of August, 1884, ne na d gained 
half a stone. Mrs. Bishop was at liberty to read 
and write a little and to visit the poor people whose 
care she regarded as Henrietta's legacy. 
On the 23rd she wrote to Lady Middleton : 

I wished I had been with you when you entertained 
Lowell, whom I remember as a young widower living 
in a small clematis-embowered wooden house in Cam- 
bridge, Mass., wearing masses of brown auburn hair 
rather long, and being regarded as resembling Shake- 
speare. He was then known only as the author of 
The Biglow Papers. I think much more of him as a 
most accomplished critic than as a man of great literary 
talent. I wonder what he is like now. His public 
appearances are tactful and charming. 

Unfortunately about that time torrents of rain 
and thunderous heat replaced the fresh summer air 
and sunshine, and Dr. Bishop ceased to benefit and 
even began to lose ground. 


1 68 LOSS [CHAP, vin 

I do not now think [she wrote] that John will recover, 
but unless he has an illness he may live for a long 
time as an invalid. He is ordered to the Riviera for the 
winter, and unless this retrograde movement goes on 
I suppose we shall leave in November, paying perhaps 
one or two visits previously. He keeps up his wonder- 
ful patience and quiet cheerfulness. He spends much 
of his time in drawing, which he only began in May, 
but already he has taken one or two slight sketches in 
water colours. He can walk about two hundred yards, 
and take long drives, but his great delight is in boating 
actual sailing in the Sound of Mull. 

She was busy in leisure hours with the compression 
of Unbeaten Tracks in Japan into one volume for a 
new edition which Mr. Murray asked her to prepare 
leaving out statistics and making it a book of travel 
and adventure. She finished this by October i, a 
week before taking Dr. Bishop to Edinburgh. Mr. 
Murray had also inquired about her notes of travel 
in the Highlands of Scotland in the fifties and sixties, 
but these had all been destroyed. 

On October 8 they travelled to Edinburgh, after 
a day's halt at Oban for the invalid. Lodgings were 
taken at 16 Alva Street, where they stayed a fort- 
night, Professor Grainger Stewart and Dr. Ritchie 
daily visiting Dr. Bishop. A new treatment was 
begun, but he was losing ground, and it was impera- 
tive to get him away as soon as possible. They 
moved to the Royal Hotel, because Mrs. Bishop 
noticed that he ate more when people were about 
him, and there I saw him on a blusterous autumn 
day. He looked pearly white, but his eyes were 
full of peace/ goodness, and cheerfulness, and he 
asked me to come back in the evening and read 
King John to him. I was staying with Mrs. Blackie, 
who thought it hazardous to go out in the midst 
of a perfect tempest of wind and rain, but the promise 

,88 4 ] HYERES 169 

to one so near the world of spirits, and who looked 
already like one of their company, was sacred. He 
met me at the head of the staircase. " I knew you 
would come," he said ; " Isabella thought you could 
not possibly come, but I knew better." He enjoyed 
the reading greatly and listened till it was time to 
cease, thanking me generously when I left. 

Two days later they were in London at the Portland 
Hotel, where Dr. Bishop's brother joined them and 
went with them to Dover, Paris, Marseilles, and 
Hyeres, which they reached on November 19. 

The opinion of the London doctors [wrote Mrs. 
Bishop from Dover to Mrs. Macdonald] all but shuts 
out hope ; they say that the journey is a great risk, 
but that he could not in this country live more than 
three months. I look at the sea before the window, 
which it is proposed that he shall cross, and seem ever 
to hear a voice saying, " Weep sore for him that goeth 
away, for he shall return no more, nor see his native 
country any more." 

The passage was bad, and, although he was laid 
on an air bed throughout the whole journey, it tried 
him severely. When at length Hyeres was reached, 
Mrs. Bishop secured a suite of rooms at the Hotel 
de TErmitage " two large bow-windowed rooms 
with a splendid view, and a smaller one with a fine 
wood view." 

Dr. Bishop was so exhausted that he lay scarcely 
noting who was there, or what was done. She 
nursed him day and night herself for a fortnight, 
giving him milk and brandy every two and a half 
hours, and now and then a freshly gathered orange. 
Then she found an English nurse just disengaged, 
who took the night duty. He regained a very little 
strength by December and liked to be read to. He 
talked a great deal about Tobermory, saying again 

1 70 LOSS [CHAP, vin 

and again, " Last summer was the happiest time in 
my life." He longed for news of all the people 
there, and Mrs. Bishop asked Mrs. Macdonald to 
send them a letter full of details about everybody. 
He was still entirely confined to bed. 

Besides nursing him and reading to him, I get 
very little done [she wrote to Lady Middleton on 
January 22, 1885], a little drawing, a little French 
study, and two or three sheets of A Pilgrimage 
to Mount Sinai. My head and heart are weary, 
and I find it difficult to lose myself in my subject. 

Mr. Murray asked her to send an article on the 
Riviera to the editor of The Quarterly Review, but 
she was too dispirited by her immediate pre- 
occupations to consent. She had promised Dr. 
Macaulay, of The Leisure Hour, to put her notes of 
the desert journey to Mount Sinai in order, and 
from time to time she spent an hour upon them. 
The three papers were not finished till the end of 
1885, and appeared in 1886. 

At the beginning of the former year an improve- 
ment in Dr. Bishop's health gave short-lived hope. 
He could sit up, be carried down to the Terrace, 
and even take a short drive, but in February this 
rally ebbed and he seemed to be fast sinking. Then 
with March came an even more encouraging revival, 
and for a time she almost hoped to take him back 
to England for the summer. She was in desperate 
need of change and rest, and the presence of her 
capable friend Miss Clayton enabled her to take it, 
when the spell of improvement grew steadier in 
April. She described this three weeks' holiday in 
a letter to Mr. Murray written on April 29 : 

As I had only such luggage as I could easily carry 
myself and had fairly good weather, I saw a good 

i88 5 ] THE RIVIERA 171 

deal and enjoyed it as much as anxiety and feeble 
health on my own part would allow me. I went to 
every place along the coast from Cannes to Final 
Marina ! My preference for outlandish travelling and 
half-civilised peoples remains unshaken, however. 
I had not realised that the Riviera is suburban 
Genoa, or suburban Marseilles, or both, for its 
whole extent, and still speculators are planting trees, 
making boulevards, and building unsightly nouses. 
I spent a week at Cannes, or rather at Garibondy 
in perfect weather. The unusual rains have given 
the gardens and surroundings of Cannes an exquisite 
beauty this year. 

She combined the practical with the recreative in 
this tour, going to all the hotels to inspect their 
resources, in case it were advisable to change Dr. 
Bishop's surroundings in the autumn. But none of 
them pleased her so well as the Hotel de 1'Ermitage. 
On her return, the doctors prescribed mountain air, 
" as a last resort," and absolutely forbade his return 
to England. But for the moment Dr. Bishop was 
a little better, and was sketching and even writing 
letters. One to Mr. Murray bears date May 2, 1885, 
and asks for information respecting Dean Mansel's 
contributions to The Speaker's Commentary and other 
theological collections, adding : 

My dear wife has returned from her eighteen days' 
rambles along the coast. She looks better, though 
alas ! her spine is very troublesome. I know that 
you will be interested to hear that I can report over 
five weeks' fair progress in convalescence on my 
own part. 

The time was favourable for his removal, and their 
friends were willing to go with them, so on the 
evening of May 19 a start was made with every 
possible precaution. They reached Geneva at mid- 
day of the 20th, and drove to the Hdtel Nationale. 

172 LOSS [CHAP, viii 

Dr. Bishop slept part of the way, and on the 2ist was 
able to lunch and dine with the others. After estab- 
lishing him at Glion and finding that her health made 
a visit to London imperative, and that she could leave 
him with confidence in Miss Clayton's hands, Mrs. 
Bishop went to London, and there, on June i, under- 
went an operation at Sir Joseph Lister's hands. Then 
she stayed four days with Professor and Mrs. Blackie 
in Edinburgh, did much business, and had many 
consultations with Professor Grainger Stewart about 
her husband. Returning to London for a final visit 
to Sir Joseph Lister, she left England on June 17, 
and on the i9th was once more with Dr. Bishop, 
whom Miss Clayton had removed to Territet during 
her absence. She described his state to Mr. Murray 
on the 24th : 

I was exceedingly sorry to leave without seeing 
you again and without the little visit to Wimbledon 
for which I had hoped. I was for ten days a patient 
of Sir Joseph Lister, and afterwards was obliged to 
make a hurried run to Edinburgh to arrange for our 
longer absence. During my short sojourn in England, 
my husband became so much weaker that I felt it 
absolutely necessary to return. He looks pathetically 
fragile and ethereal, and, though the doctors still fancy 
that a high altitude may alter the course of his illness, 
I am slowly coming to the conclusion that this long 
and weary time of weakness must ere very long 
terminate fatally. My husband is too weak to sit 
up even in bed, and I very greatly dread the risk 
of moving him to any such height as the Eggishorn, 
to which he must be carried on a litter, and where 
he may become worse. . . . We are thinking of 
Vissoie in the Val d'Anniviers and possibly of Bella 
Tola afterwards. 

This project was carried out almost at once, for 
by July 7 the whole party was settled at the Hotel 
Bella Tola, St. Luc, Valais, and the Bishops remained 

1885] VISSOIE 173 

there for nearly three months. Dr. Bishop was 
carried up from Vissoie on an air-bed, and as the 
ascent is steep, the strain exhausted him. After 
a few days' rest, he spent four or five hours daily 
lying on a couch in the open air. The weather was 
glorious, no rain fell for eight weeks except after 
occasional thunder-storms. Indeed, one of their first 
encounters at Vissoie was with a procession of 743 
men and women in white from head to foot, 
nearly all very devout-looking, who had assembled 
at 4 a.m. and had walked ten miles and back to 
a very sacred shrine of the Virgin Mary to pray for 
rain. The mediaevalism of this procession, as it 
wound like a monstrous white caterpillar along the 
mountain path, was very striking. The pious trudge 
was in vain, for the drought lasted eight weeks longer. 
Miss Bessie Ker, one of the friends whom Mrs. 
Bishop affectionately called " the people," gives the 
following account of their ascent to Vissoie : 

After the winter of 1884-5, which we spent in the 
same hotel with them near Hyeres, and during which 
Miss Clayton used to read to him daily and comforted 
him much, we all went together into Switzerland and 
she took charge of him at Glion at the head of the 
Lake of Geneva, while Isabella went to England on 
business. On her return, we all went up to the 
Val d'Anniviers, a lateral small valley from that of 
the Rhone. It was then only accessible by a narrow 
road partly resting on wooden supports outside the 
precipices along the river, and so narrow that it 
could only take the long, narrow country cart. In 
one of these he lay on a mattress, Miss Clayton 
going with him on the very uncomfortable seat beside 
the driver. Isabella and I followed, my sister and 
Deis [a Swiss nurse] were behind. This drive excited 
him very much, he had never seen anything like it 
and was enjoying it greatly. Once or twice he raised 
| a white face with gleaming eyes, looked back and 
waved his cap. 


The heat at Vissoie was so great that it was soon 
necessary to seek the higher levels of St. Luc, whither 
on July 7 he was carried up the steep zigzag road 
by four men, on a stretcher. Isabella walked up, the 
others on mules rode through the wood to Hotel Bella 
Tola, 5,496 ft. high. Many days and nights of anxious 
ministry followed. In August Mrs. Bishop was left 
alone with her husband, but when the September cold 
came on and the hours spent outside were gradually 
reduced to one, she sent for Mr. Duncan Macdonald, 
a medical student whose aid she urgently needed. 
The worst symptoms were returning and it was 
important to carry him down to Lausanne before 
winter! set in, when Bella Tola was shut up and the 
landlord left for Vissoie. All October he suffered 
a succession of agitating changes and it became 
obvious that he must avoid the winter severity. 
Cannes was chosen by the Swiss doctor as his next 
stage, and thither they journeyed from Lausanne, 
arriving at the H6tel Richemont on November 3. 
But the tide rose and fell ever more feebly. 

At last Mrs. Bishop sent for Sir Joseph Lister, 
and it was decided to attempt the perilous opera- 
tion of transfusion of blood. A sturdy young Italian 
peasant was willing to risk it for a large sum of 
money, and every precaution which surgical science 
could dictate was used. Sir Joseph Lister, assisted 
by three doctors, operated, and the process lasted 
an hour and a half. This was on January 3, 1886. 

No evil effects followed this almost despairing 
effort to prolong the beloved life, but it was futile, 
for he had no power to assimilate the fresh young 
blood. When it was safe to move him, he was 
taken in an ambulance to the Hotel des Anglais, 
where, very gently but very surely, he faded from 

,886] DR. BISHOP'S DEATH 175 

earth before her eyes. To the last he was happy, 
and except when fevered by exhaustion absolutely 
peaceful. An excellent man-servant, Jean Hari, had 
been brought from Valais, and could hardly be pre- 
vailed upon to leave him for the briefest rest. Just 
towards the end his suffering was so great that 
Dr. Frank recommended chloroform from time to 
time to spare him its paroxysms. Mrs. Bishop 
administered it. She was with him till one o'clock 
the night before he died, and received his last 
whisper of love as she bade him good-night. At 
seven o'clock she came back to him, and at half- 
past eight his gentle spirit fled. It was Saturday, 
March 6, 1886. 

His brother had been at Cannes for ten days, and 
with Dr. Frank's assistance made all the funeral 
arrangements. It was hastened by a day, for 
March 8 was the anniversary of his marriage five 
years earlier, and Isabella could not bear the thought 
of burying him on that day. So on Sunday, March 7, 
he was laid to rest in the hill cemetery, from which 
his mourners could look upon a view of sea and 
mountains. They were his brother, Dr. Frank and 
Lady Agnes Frank, Miss Ker, Miss Lillingston, and 
Jean Hari. Even by friends of a few weeks he was 
truly mourned. 

Mrs. Bishop would have sunk altogether had not 
Miss Clayton come to her at once. As it was, she 
was lost in a stupor of grief after the funeral, which 
she had watched winding up the hill towards the 
cemetery. Her friends did all they could for her, 
and kept her as much as possible in bed. 

After each bereavement her heart and flesh were 
nigh to failing, and now that the last human treasure 
was taken, and she was left alone, a wave of anguish 

176 LOSS [CHAP, vin 

overwhelmed her. But in her grief there was a new 
element, a throbbing and stirring of her spiritual life, 
a sense of the world which her husband had entered, 
and, as she said herself, she "was brought face to 
face with Jesus Christ." Long before, when Mrs. 
Bird died, Isabella had written a " prayer of the 

Saviour, whose crowned humanity 
Still stoops to wipe the tearful eye, 
Unto whose ear the voiceless sigh 
Pleads not in vain ; 

Thou, who the broken heart hath healed, 
Look on the woe to Thee revealed, 
The burning fount of tears unsealed, 
This bitter pain. 

If blindly on a mortal head, 
With lavish hand, I fondly shed 
Gifts on Thy shrine more fitly laid, 
Saviour, forgive ! 

With earthly love compelled to part, 
Stricken by Sorrow's keenest dart, 
Have mercy on this wounded heart 
And healing give. 

If mortal accents all too dear, 
With their deep music filled my ear, 
So that Thy voice I failed to hear, 
O Christ, forgive ! 

Turn not this human heart to stone, 
But once again, with magic tone, 
Thrill through its chambers dark and lone, 
Bidding it live. 

On March 1 1 she began to face her solitude. During 
the first quiet days she sewed for herself dress, mantle, 
bonnet, cap all the sad garb of widowhood. As a 
child she had learned to cut out and make the simple 
cotton smocks which she and her sister wore at 
Tattenhall. Needlework was her constant resource 

,886] "BY GOD'S HELP" 177 

in times of suffering, and she was expert at cutting 
out and at using the sewing-machine. 

On the 24th she went to Mentone on business, 
but returned after a few days, and chose a monu- 
ment for her husband's grave in Cannes. Dr. 
Murray Mitchell was at Mentone the friend who 
had first introduced Dr. Bishop to her and he 
helped her with the business complications which 

By April she was able to visit the grave daily, and 
there, on the isth, she consecrated herself to those 
special labours for others which had been his delight 
and to which Christ had called her. On May i she 
wrote to Mrs. Blackie : 

The loss of him is simply awful my own pure, 
saintly, heroic, unworldly, unselfish, devoted husband. 
I have long known that he was the only man I have 
seen whom I could have married with any chance of 
happiness. His long and weary illness had made 
him the object of all my thoughts, plans, hopes, 
fears, interests. I have lived for him. But I must 
not write about my grief and desolation, Life at the 
longest cannot be very long, and will be made up 
not of years, but of days, and I should be traitorous 
to the blessed memories of those whom I have loved 
and lost if I did not seek to show my gratitude for 
the good things. of my past life. Henceforth I must 
live my own life, responsible to God alone and my 
conscience. It must be lonely and darkened. by the 
shadow of death, but by God's help I trust that it 
will neither be selfish nor repining. 

Here is a new note, and " by God's help" its music 
swelled into a psalm of service. 

The " people " wef e about to return by Paris to 
London, and she decided to go with them as far as 
Aix-les-Bains. After a few days together they 
separated, and she made her way to Sierre and St. 
Luc, where she spent a whole day in what had 


1 78. LOSS [CHAP, vm 

been Dr. Bishop's room, praying, reading, formulating 
her resolutions, renewing her solemn dedication. 
On May 11 she wrote from the Hotel Bella Tola 
to Mrs. Macdonald : 

I came here to retrace the precious memories of 
last summer, and to stamp the place for ever on 
my memory. I have this room, in which patience 
did her perfect work, and can almost see the bright 
angel-face. He was " an angel," the landlord said 
" yes ; angel of patience." It was from here on 
a sunny afternoon, carried in his camp-bed by four 
men, that he started with radiant face on his 
journey to death. I see it all as I write. The 
snow is deep all round here. The father and 
daughter who keep the hotel came up to open it 
for me. The father and my husband had formed a 
strong mutual attachment, and they sympathise 
deeply in my terrible loss. Will you help any one 
with goods from me who may be in special want? 
I leave the helping of the very poor to your discretion 
and knowledge, and ask you to be generous, for I 
can make my personal expenses very small now. 

Then, after a day at Geneva, one at Glion, one 
at Pontarlier, and one at Lausanne, she took the 
train to Paris, joined her friends there, and went 
with them on May 15, going to stay with Miss 
Poole at 48 Avenue Road for a fortnight. There 
were many people to see and things to do, and she 
was besides called to St. Leonards to visit a dear 
cousin, Harriet Bird, on her deathbed. 

By June 2 she was able to leave for Edinburgh, 
where Professor and Mrs. Grainger Stewart were 
her hosts. Her duty was to unpack her husband's 
books and papers and to distribute them as he had 
wished. This work went on at 9 Douglas Crescent, 
where Mrs. Blackie had stored her boxes. 

On June 18 she reached Tobermory, and found 
distress at The Cottage. Mrs. McDougall, caretaker 

i886] TIREE 179 

in her absence and housekeeper during her residence, 
was very ill, and an immediate operation was 
necessary. This was performed on the 25th by Dr. 
Maxwell, of Tobermory, to whom Mrs. Bishop acted 
as assistant surgeon, administering the chloroform 
and supplying all instant requirements. She then 
nursed Mrs. McDougall to recovery with the help 
of Nurse Mackinnon, and had the satisfaction of 
seeing the good woman look better than before her 
illness. July was spent in constant visits and deeds 
of mercy; her home occupations were gardening, 
sewing, reading. She was besides writing out a 
detailed narrative of her whole acquaintance with 
Dr. Bishop, her married life, his long illness, and 
his death. To this she added the many tributes to 
his rare character received from all parts of the 
world. The " people " were in Ulva Cottage, and 
much with her, and Tobermory was crowded with 
summer visitors, who found their way to The Cottage. 
Only two excursions are recorded one to Loch Ba 
to take tea on its shore, the other to Calgary for 
three days. But in August she went to Tiree to 
spend some days with Mrs. Macdiarmid, and her 
account of this visit, in a letter to Professor Blackie, 
is too interesting to be omitted. Ceaseless bad 
weather had delayed her from risking the difficult 
landing at Scarinish Bay, although her bag was ready 
packed for ten days; at last, on August 20, it was 
possible. Tiree was in a state of uproar ; the land- 
leaguers were busy and angry ; some of the members 
had been evicted and they were holding a meeting 
to hear the ousted tenants speak upon their wrongs. 

From the wild, difficult landing-place, the white 
tents of the camp, "the thin red line of the marines, 
and the gleam of bayonets looked most singular. 

1 80 LOSS [CHAP, vin 

The Tiree men, magnified in the mist, looked gigantic, 
appalling. They are really children of Anak. I never 
saw such a tall and massive race. There was a 
singular rabble on shore policemen, special cor- 
respondents, commissariat officials, camp doctors, 
bluejackets from the troop-ship, all awaiting the 
mail. I suppose it is now much like some of the 
least disturbed parts of Ireland. The factor's life has 
been threatened, and the people yelled round his 
house " Remember Lord Leitrim." [Mr. Macdiarmid 
was the factor.] Those who won't join the League 
receive threatening letters with coffins on them, and 
many are boycotted. A sort of mild reign of terror 
seems to prevail. The island looks pretty on a 
bright day, intensely white sands, long stretches of 
sward as fine and smooth as the finest English lawn, 
all surrounded by a sea in which brilliant blue is 
mingled with bands and splotches of deep purple 
and violet. It is the most prosperous looking part 
of the Highlands and Islands that I have seen men 
and women in such substantial home-spun clothing, 
the children so well dressed, strong and handsome. 

She stayed in Tobermory all September, leaving 
for October and November and returning to spend 
three more months in " the beloved little home on 
the wooded edge of the moorland above the Northern 
Sea," as she had called it in one of her letters from 
The Golden Chersonese. Early in November she 
travelled to Bristol to pay a brief visit to Mrs. Merttins 
Bird at Westbury, where Dr. Bishop's first serious 
break-down occurred, and where four months of 1883 
had been spent. Mr. Murray asked her for a con- 
tribution to his Magazine, and from Westbury she 
wrote on November 5, 1886 : 

Dr. Grainger Stewart has forbidden me to think 
of literary work for four months. You will not 
therefore think me ungracious for my non-appearance 
at present in your forth-coming Magazine. In looking 
over the contents of a trunk lately, I found the 
enclosed, which, if it be suitable, make use of. 


The manuscript was accepted and printed in the 
March number of Murray's Magazine. It is a singular 
record in poetry of her subconscious experiences 
during the first moments of the action of chloroform, 
and we may date the incident as belonging to June i, 
1885, when she underwent an operation for which 
the anaesthetic was employed. She was so impressed 
by her vision that she wrote a prose account of it 
while it was still vivid in her recollection, and this 
she followed in her poem, whose sub-title is " A 
Psychological Fragment." It describes at first 
exquisite peace thronged with sunny memories from 
earliest childhood, then " a brief and bitter agony " 
in the hour of parting between soul and body. Her 
spirit looked on the " cold, expressionless, pitiful log " 
of her body, and thrilled with the joy of freedom 
from mortality. It soared to seek 

The fiery throne 

On which sits " the High and Lofty One," 
And, with eye undazzled by the light, 
To gaze on the glory infinite, 
And shining host of Seraphim 
And veiled face of Cherubim. 

But, alas ! the poor soul failed to attain, for suddenly, 
"at the moment when anaesthesia became complete," 
there was 

Darkness where light should be ! 
Nothing where I should see 
The great, thrice-holy Three ! 

Returning through London she visited St. Mary's 
Hospital with a view to future plans, and was rest- 
lessly occupied for some time. The Birds had 
always called such busy days "hard-hunted" and 
the word occurs frequently at this time in her diary. 

All December she was amongst her Tobermory 

1 82 LOSS [CHAP, vin 

friends, out in all weathers, working at home, writing 
and nursing. Before Christmas she spent two whole 
days making up and posting parcels of gifts. On 
December 22 she wrote to Lady Middleton : 

I prefer to spend this time alone in this weird 
fashion, on the edge of the moorland above the sea, to 
anything else. I think of remaining here till the first 
anniversary of my husband's death, March 6, is past, 
when I purpose to go into St. Mary's Hospital, Padding- 
ton, for three months. Then I think of paying a few 
visits, and possibly in the earlv autumn I may go and 
visit medical missions in Northern India. My inclina- 
tion is never again to cross the Channel, but this is 
urged upon me, and I wish to found a memorial 
hospital to my husband in connection with a medical 
mission to which he was devoted to the end. 

The year 1887 began with heavy rain, but nothing 
deterred her from her rounds visiting the sick, 
helping the poor, making soup and puddings for 
her invalids, giving lessons at home to a number 
of young people in French, drawing, and the use 
of the sewing-machine. Sometimes she walked 
round the bay to Aros House, to visit Mr. and Mrs. 
Allan ; this was generally on dark and stormy winter 
afternoons, when she would arrive drenched, would 
take off her water-proof and long snow-boots and 
would sit at the ingle-neuk drinking tea and talking 
delightfully till it was time to walk home again. 
When she went to lunch, she rowed herself across 
the bay, tied her boat to the tiny pier, and walked 
up to the house. 

Her costume shocked some of the good Tobermory 
people, and indeed it was adapted rather for con- 
venience than beauty. A servant lassie, listening 
to her praises from her mistress, who descanted on 
the courage with which she overcame the difficulties 

i88 7 ] AT THE COTTAGE 183 

of travelling amongst half-savage peoples, said scorn- 
fully, " It's no wonder she gets through no one 
would look at her." " What do you mean ? " said 
her mistress. " No man would run away with her ; 
the very black mans would not want her, she's so 
ugly." It was a tremendous indictment, and to those 
who remember her charm and dignity at home and 
with her friends somewhat astonishing. But an 
ulster made like a man's, a rather weather-beaten 
hat, and big snow-boots conceal charm and dignity, 
qualities which the Highland lassie associated with 
Sunday frocks and bonnets. Badarroch was a 
favourite resting-place and occurs constantly in her 
diary as the scene of pleasant hours spent with Mr. 
and Mrs. MacLachlan. " Visitors all day " is a frequent 
entry, and sometimes " made calls in all parts of the 
village." Her French and drawing classes were 
held on alternate days. Mr. John Macdonald, who 
was at Heanish .with his parents before leaving for 
Egypt to take up a medical appointment there, 
benefited by the French lessons. Sometimes the 
students stayed to tea and read poetry with Mrs. 

About the end of February, fatigue brought on 
a short spinal attack, but she got over it quickly, 
and pursued her beneficent activity until March 22, 
when she left for Edinburgh. A long letter to Mrs. 
Macdiarmid, written on March 10, mentions the 
three sad anniversaries of her husband's death, 
his burial, and their marriage through which she 
had just passed " alone with God." The rest of its 
pages are full of helpful suggestions for a " Teacher's 
Class," which Mrs. Macdiarmid had begun in Tiree, 
and of advice and prescriptions for a case of anaemia. 

There was another matter about which she was 


much concerned that spring. Her sister had always 
been distressed by the drunkenness in Tobermory 
and had helped to keep up a Band of Hope amongst 
the children. Mrs. Bishop felt deeply the importance 
of temperance work, but upon being asked by Mr. 
Levack to speak at a Band of Hope meeting in 
January, 1887, she wrote: 

Your note puts me into a great difficulty. I am deeply 
interested in temperance work, but, not being a pledged 
abstainer, I feel that to speak at temperance, or rather 
total abstinence, meetings is hardly honest. As the 
matter stands, I never touch spirits, and for the last 
ten years I have not taken wine as a beverage, and 
for the last three not at all except twice, when I took 
it for three weeks at a time, for weakness of the heart 
caused by rheumatism, and shall probably have to take 
it again. I am abstaining now, but it is against the 
doctor's positive orders. Again, I do not regard the 
taking of wine, or beer, in moderation at meals as 
wrong. Abstinence I only regard as essential for the 
present distress and as a part of the " bearing one 
another's burdens " (by those who are not in circum- 
stances of temptation) to which as Christians we are 
bound. I must now leave the matter to you, merely 
adding that I cannot be at the Hall to speak or not 
till 8.30. 

As a matter of fact she did speak at the meeting, 
and there is reason to believe that this was her first 
public address. She was very shy when speaking 
to children both upon this and other occasions. 
She had not the natural facility for entertaining 
them remarkable in her sister, but she now set 
herself to overcome this reluctance and timidity 
and frequently accepted invitations to address the 
Band of Hope. Mr. Levack writes : 

When she was fairly started and had caught their 
attention by wonderful tales of what she had seen 

i88 7 ] Y.W.C.A. 185 

in far-off lands, her courage rose and she was in her 
element, the young people engrossed in her talk and 
responding most enthusiastically. 

Perhaps it was on this occasion that she told them 
about Mr. Low's monkeys at Kwala Kangsa in the 
Malay Peninsula, one of whom seized a long glass 
full of champagne at dinner and drank the wine 
before the glass could be taken from him the wine 
mounting to his head at once, so that he had to 
stagger to a sofa and lie down. " If drunkenness 
were not a loathsome human vice," she wrote 
when, describing the scene, " it would have been 
most amusing to see it burlesqued by this ape." 

Lady Victoria Campbell was district referee for the 
Young Women's Christian Association, and wished 
to form a branch for the Western Islands. She paid 
a visit to The Cottage, and secured Mrs. Bishop's 
co-operation. What especially attracted Mrs. Bishop 
to the proposal was the hope that a brightly conducted 
branch might not only interest and concentrate the 
lives of many young women in Tobermory, but 
might attract girls who grew too old for the Band 
of Hope, and, by filling their leisure evenings with 
pleasant and profitable occupation, destroy the attrac- 
tion of idleness, gossip, and their perils. She there- 
fore willingly consented to form the branch, and 
had completed many preliminary arrangements when 
she left Tobermory on March 22. Miss MacCallum 
was made the first secretary, and it was arranged 
that she should draw up a list of all young women 
who wished to join, so that the work might begin 
in autumn. 

On April i she went to London, and took 
rooms in Oxford Terrace, to be near St. Mary's 
Hospital, Paddington, where she purposed to take a 

1 86 LOSS [CHAP, viii 

three months' course of training in nursing. She 
was allowed to choose somewhat exceptional instruc- 
tion. Her experience at Tobermory guided her 
choice of the casualty wards and the operating 
theatres rather than of the wards where medical 
cases were treated. She spent from six to ten hours 
daily in the hospital, going at nine in the morning 
and leaving at from three to seven and eight o'clock 
in the evening. Sometimes she rested for a few 
hours in the afternoon, and spent the whole night 
nursing, or assisting to nurse, a bad case. Surgical 
and eye cases occupied her chiefly. She learned to 
make and use splints, bandages (both of linen and 
plaster), to dress wounds, even to put up " a man's 
leg in plaster," watched operations sometimes two 
in a day amputations, hernia, trephining, tumours, 
and took single-handed work often for many hours. 

And in spite of all this, she dined out constantly 
with Mr. and Mrs. Murray, Bishop Perry, Canon 
Cook, Sir E. Sieveking, Sir Edwin Arnold, and many 
others. One brief respite she snatched in May to 
visit Mrs. George Brown at Houghton, returning 
after four days to St. Mary's, and adding to her 
work not only many missionary meetings, but the 
search for a house in London a long and dis- 
appointing "hunt." She fixed upon 44 Maida Vale, 
but it required considerable repair, so that some 
months elapsed before she could furnish it. This 
step was urged upon her both by her English rela- 
tives and friends, and by her own desire to be 
nearer the centre of the intellectual and religious 
movements of the day. 

Edinburgh was a place of saddest reminders, and 
these were apt to unfit her for the life of^unselfish 
activity to which she was now pledged. She had 

i88 7 ] WORK IN LONDON 187 

always been open to the action of her environment. 
Much that seemed, and indeed was, conflicting in 
her character was due to this wealth of sympathetic 
response to her immediate circumstances. She heard 
keenly, and vibrated deeply to every note in the scale 
of human character, suffering, and emotion. She 
placed herself intuitively at the standpoint of those 
in contact with her, assenting to their views, their 
prejudices, their enthusiasms. There was often 
apparent contradiction in her stated estimates and 
opinions, due to the fact that each of these repre- 
sented but one facet of the whole crystal of truth, and 
was the response made by her many-sided sympathy 
to one particular mind or special environment. 

She was aware of her tendency to be attracted by 
the disturbing magnetism of humanity, and she longed 
for a definite sphere in which she could concentrate 
her forces for active work. London seemed best for 
this purpose, and she decided to try the experiment 
of making her home there. Her thoughts, too, were 
filled with a matter of great importance to herself. 
Dr. Bishop's concern to promote medical missions 
has been already indicated. Even during his pro- 
tracted illness he had lost no opportunity of urging 
their value. His personal friend, Dr. Torrance, at 
Nazareth, was much hindered in his work because his 
patients from outlying districts could not be kept 
directly under his care. Mrs. Bishop desired to 
carry out her husband's wish that a hospital should 
be built at Nazareth. About this project, destined 
unfortunately to fail, she writes to Mrs. Blackie : 

I purpose to put up as a memorial to my husband 
a hospital of twelve beds in connection with a medical 
mission. The demand for one at Nazareth is great; 
the surgical cases gome to the doctor in numbers 

1 88 LOSS [CHAP, vm 

from Judea and Galilee, and even from the confines 
of the desert, and he has to send some away, and 
to treat others in dark mud-hovels. So, if the 
Turkish Government will consent, I purpose to put 
up the memorial there fully equipped^ sending it out 
in pieces from England. Wherever it is, I wish to 
qualify myself for giving some help at the beginning. 
John's profound interest in medical missions, and 
his years of persevering work in connection with 
them, makes me decide upon such a hospital as 
the most fitting monument I could put up. 

Her work at St. Mary's Hospital went on till the 
end of July. An interesting correspondence with 
Mr. Murray belongs to this summer in town. It 
was the critical time of the Irish troubles and the 
Plan of Campaign. English public opinion was 
notably ignorant of the real state of matters below 
the surface. It was split into two almost equally 
hysterical and rancorous cries, and the action of the 
Plan of Campaign increased the violence and obscured 
the discernment on both sides. Mr. Murray hoped 
that a series of articles written from the disaffected 
districts of Ireland by a tactful inquirer and observer 
would to some extent inform the public mind. He 
asked Mrs. Bishop to accept the risk of personally 
visiting these disturbed regions, knowing how much 
she preferred a spice of hazard to tame and com- 
fortable adventure. He wished her to hear all that 
the people could be won to admit of their actual 
needs and wishes, and begged her to think the 
matter over. 

I feel dubious [she replied] about my power of 
ingratiating myself with the Irish peasantry to such 
an extent as to win the confidence of individuals 
among them. Perhaps, however, if I tried and failed 
it would be worth something to fail in a good cause;, 

,887] BANCHORY 189 

But for the moment she either lacked the literary 
impulse or was absorbed by the encroaching interests 
of her nursing work, her new home, with its pre- 
paratory renovations, and her correspondence about 
the hospital at Nazareth and the proposal was 
temporarily put aside. 

When July ended she went to Scotland with 
Miss Clayton, and rested peacefully for a month at 

We lead a very quiet life [she wrote to Mrs. 
Macdiarmid] ; we write letters in the same room in 
the morning; work, walk, or drive in the afternoon; 
take tea at seven ; and at 8.30 B. reads Bishop Thirl- 
wall's letters aloud while we work. 

Her sewing was on a travelling outfit, for visions 
of the East were present with her, and she was 
quietly preparing for their realisation. She mentions 
having taken the new house in this letter : 

I wonder if you have heard that I have taken a 
house in London. Should I ever settle there, I want 
to make it a hotel for my friends. I hope you will 
come to me there. I cannot bear to be in Edinburgh. 
I find the anguish of bereavement and loneliness 
harder to bear there than anywhere. I do not 
purpose to occupy my house at present. 

Afterwards Mrs. Bishop went to Tobermory, 
where she found much to do. Lady Victoria Camp- 
bell came to The Cottage in late September to set 
agoing the Western Islands branch of the Y.W.C.A. 
The visit was a pleasant one to both hostess and 
guest, who spoke of the "Cot" and its garden as 
" Paradise." Mrs. Bishop had just renewed the lease, 
its walls were freshly papered, its borders were gay 
with autumn flowers. Lady Victoria addressed a 
meeting in the Temperance Hall, held a consultation 

190 LOSS [CHAP, vm 

with the local ministers, and paved the way for 
launching this useful venture. 

On October 6 a meeting was called to enrol 
members and the list of names numbered 118. 
Mrs. Bishop made some explanatory remarks at this 
meeting, but was " helplessly nervous." At later 
gatherings she gained sufficient confidence to speak 
about many matters on which a young woman's 
opinion requires guidance and about which it is well 
to have and to hold an intelligent opinion. 

This was the beginning of a new channel of 
influence for Mrs. Bishop and incidentally of an 
opportunity for practice in public speaking by which 
she was rapidly schooled. She could not possibly 
know, in 1887, for what greater service she was being 
prepared ; but as she had consecrated herself to God, 
He knew and equipped her for the future in the 
doing of His will in the present. 

On October 8 she left Tobermory for Edinburgh, 
and went on to London very slowly, paying a number 
of brief visits on the way, and finally landing at 
29 Cambridge Terrace, where she had engaged 

By the end of November she entered on possession 
of her new home in Maida Vale. But her restless 
spirit did not allow her to settle down, and she left 
at once for a visit of ten days to Miss Clayton, who 
was wintering at Bournemouth. Then the long- 
talked-of tour in Ireland seized her imagination 
and she sought the acquaintance of Nationalist 
Members of Parliament, amongst them Mr. Justin 
McCarthy and Mr. Dillon. Having decided on the 
enterprise, she applied her experienced judgment to 
its details. It was palpable that, to learn anything 
from the people, she must avoid all intercourse with 

I8 8 7 ] IN IRELAND 191 

the proprietors, so she declined introductions to 
11 landlords " and accepted many given by leaders 
of the Nationalist party. 

She lunched with Mr. and Mrs. Murray on 
December 15, meeting Du Chaillu, and left London 
next day for her projected tour, after a long con- 
versation with Mr. Dillon on the previous evening. 
She was away five weeks, and the notes which 
she made of all she observed furnished material 
for three spirited and most interesting articles in 
Murray's Magazine for April, May, and June, 1888. 

Two letters to Mr. Murray give a resume of 
her adventures. In one, dated from Mitchelstown, 
December 29, she wrote : 

I have learned that if one visits at a landlord's 
house in Ireland, one may give up hope of getting 
anything out of the people. So far i.e. as far as 
I can judge I have found wonderful frankness as 
to their circumstances and views among the peasant 
farmers and their district leaders. In fact, an English 
person roughing it as I am doing is most warmly 
welcomed. I went to Louth to the Massareene 
estate, saw Mr. Smith Barry's rent audit, and then 
went to Arklow and its neighbourhood, where I spent 
one day among sixty-three evicted tenants and their 
priests and saw the monthly allowances given under 
the " Plan of Campaign." Thence back to Dublin 
and to Waterford and yesterday here, where I have 
seen and heard a good deal. This is the Kingstown 
estate. Within a few yards of my window are three 
crosses let into the road, which mark the three lives 
taken by the police. Late last night I went with 
the Protestant clergyman to the police-barrack and 
heard the story of poor Constable Leahy, who still 
lies helpless in bed from the effect of his wounds. 
The hardships of travelling in this weather are great. 
Eleven miles here on a mail-car over a bleak hill-road 
in the snow, and the same to-night ; thin, damp beds 
and bedrooms without fireplaces, and no fire any- 
where except in the commercial-room. At Arklow 

192 LOSS [CHAP, vm 

the inn was shut, and my night's lodging was truly 
damp and miserable. The only fire was in a room 
tenanted by some of Mr. Parnell's cjuarrymen ! You 
will be glad to think that you did not ask me to 
come at this season. 

On her way home she diverged to Ford Hall in 
Derbyshire to stay a few days with Mrs. Greaves 
Bagshawe, and wrote to Mr. Murray on January 28, 

My health improved very much in Ireland. 1 
became more vigorous and enterprising daily towards 
the end of the time, and finished by a three days' car- 
drive through Connemara and by Cong to Claremorris 
in Mayo. It is rather a sad fact but rough knocking 
about, open-air life, in combination with sufficient 
interest, is the one in which my health and spirits 
are the best. So you have no need to reproach 
yourself, my kind friend, with the share you have 
had in my Irish journey. 

The three articles contain the impressions made 
upon a singularly impartial mind by the incidents 
of that tour. They are impressionist only, and aim 
at giving unbiassed evidence of just those incidents 
and opinions which she encountered, without personal 
animus or prepossession. They form indeed strong 
corroboration of what has been already suggested as 
to her comprehensive and comprehending sympathy. 



MRS. BISHOP included amongst her plans the use of 
her house in London as an invalid home. One of 
her first visitors, therefore, was a Derbyshire farmer, 
whom she persuaded during her residence at Ford 
Hall to become an out-patient at St. Mary's Hospital. 
When she returned to 44 Maida Vale, on February 2, 
it was to prepare for his arrival ; and we find her 
staining and varnishing floors with her own hands, 
laying carpets and wax-cloth, hanging pictures, and 
engaging servants. One of the latter was the widow 
of her late caretaker, who died of apoplexy during 
her absence in Ireland. It was with this shadow 
on the very threshold, and with a persistent mis- 
giving at her heart, that she set herself to live in 
London. A patient from the East-end occupied one 
of the bedrooms. She was still attending St. Mary's, 
taking lessons there in ambulance work, and at home 
she was occupied with her Irish notes. 

She made Dr. Munro Gibson's acquaintance, and 
being greatly grieved at the incoming tide of ritualism 
in her own beloved church, she chose his ministry as 
the most helpful and congenial in her neighbour- 
hood. She was constantly dining out, and passed 
few hours in solitude ; but the sight of her husband's 
belongings books, pictures, furniture their constant 
reminder of his vanished presence, and something 

1 93 13 


oppressive in the house and troublesome in its 
management, roused her regret that she had ever 
ventured upon the experiment. 

She was in the throes of a collapse, physical and 
emotional ; and the reactionary tendency in the 
Church of England was to her a real and serious 
sorrow. In February she wrote to Mrs. Blackie : 

The church of my fathers has cast me out by means 
of inanities, puerilities, music, and squabblings, and I 
go regularly to a Presbyterian church, where there is 
earnest praying, vigorous preaching, and an air of 

She was at this time in constant touch with men 
and women devoted to the mission fields Mr. James 
Mathieson, Dr. and Mrs. Grattan Guinness, and 
others. She had been urged to go up the Congo 
to visit the Baptist mission stations in Central 
Africa, and but for the persistent call from the East, 
she might have perilled her life in doing so. But 
Africa had no attraction for her, and she was long- 
ing to place her husband's memorial hospital at 
Nazareth, and to go out herself, qualified and 
equipped, to organise its nursing staff. Magnetised 
by the labours, sacrifices, and successes of her 
Baptist friends, she took an otherwise inexplicable 
step in February. On her way from Ford she had 
halted at Cliff College, where Dr. Grattan Guinness 
superintended the training of students from Harley 
House, not in theological study alone, but also in 
the technical arts important to pioneer missionary 
effort carpentry, gardening, building as well as in 
evangelistic visiting and preaching throughout the 
neighbourhood of Bakewell. Here the impression 
made upon her by the whole-heartedness of Baptist 
work was deepened, and she took counsel with 

,888] IMMERSION 195 

Dr. Guinness as to the possibility of consecrating 
herself to the missionary cause in the ceremony of 
immersion without joining the Baptist body. A great 
longing for the baptism of the Spirit had come over 
her, and she hoped to receive it in all its fulness by 
obedience to the example of Christ, whose ministry 
was initiated by the rite of immersion. Mr. Spurgeon 
consented to admit her to this on the evening of 
February 23. Three days later she wrote to Mrs. 
Macdonald : 

It was a comfort to me on Thursday night, in 
the solemn loneliness in which I went through the 
ordinance of baptism, to feel that you and Miss Brown 
and the Guinnesses were praying for me. I seemed 
to realise the presence of the Lord up to the moment 
when I went down into the water, and then a wave of 
nervousness separated me from Him. Eighteen were 
baptized at the same time. Mr. Spurgeon preached 
on "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for 
ever." It cost me a good deal to take this step, and 
the night and the chapel and the dress were all so 
fearfully cold that it truly seemed " burial." To walk 
in newness of life is my great desire, but how to 
accomplish it I know not. I pray Him to accomplish 
it for me. 

This letter is filled with cares about and on behalf of 
her dear Tobermory people, orders for their comfort, 
providing food and firing for the neediest amongst them. 
Her mind dwelt on the Young Women's Christian 
Association meetings, and she was consulting London 
secretaries of the various metropolitan branches as 
to ways of dealing with their members their advice 
being summed up in the need of " a loving, sisterly, 
cordial manner, making the friend more prominent 
than the official" 

Her distress of mind lasted till spring; the house 
in Maida Vale became unendurable. Her plan of 


filling its many rooms with invalids fell through, 
because strength in nursing failed her. Something 
of the old invincible melancholy overcame her. 

I surrounded myself with my relics, thinking that 
I might find a sort of ghostly companionship in them, 
and that I might make my house useful in entertaining 
guests, who could not " recompense " me. Both these 
plans have failed the relics mock me, and the guests 
are too great a fatigue. So I am now hoping to get 
rid of my house in May, and to sell my Eastern curious 
works of art to help me to build a surgical ward in 
the projected hospital at Nazareth. The cottage at 
Tobermory will then be home, if any place can be 
home to one so frightfully bereft. 

This occurs in a letter to Lady Middleton, dated 
March 8, and on the following day she wrote to 
Mrs. Macdonald : 

I see who it is that is hedging my way with thorns, 
and I pray more and more earnestly that if I am in the 
wrong way here, He will show me the right way 
and give me to walk in it at any sacrifice, and I think 
I see a great one in prospect. ... I feel indescribably 
sad, sinking in deep waters. Pray for me, dear friend, 
that God's discipline may not fail of its purpose sepa- 
ration from the world and complete surrender to Him. 

These letters were written during the week of the 
anniversaries of her husband's death and funeral and 
of their marriage. Anniversaries meant very much to 
her; they were pegs on which to hang her most 
cherished memories memories with which she was 
wont to wrap herself about as with a garment, when 
their dates recurred. 

I think that these two months have been the most 
anguished of my life [she wrote to Mrs. Macdiarmid]; 
my health has broken down and my body no longer 
seconds my spirit, and debars me wholly not only from 
using my home as I hoped to use it, but from doing 


the outside work I hoped to do. The blessing is that 
I can see that the discipline is all right, and that it was 

She persisted in her ambulance lessons till Easter, 
when she went to Miss Clayton at Bournemouth, and 
found her faithful friend in much-impaired health. 
Just before leaving town she secured a tenant for 
her house in Mr. J. L. Toole, the well-known actor, 
who agreed to take over her lease from the June 
term. This removed one anxiety, and on her return 
she set herself gradually to dismantle the home, of 
which she had made so brief a use. In truth, unrest 
had seized upon her, and she mistook its fever for 
the misery of solitude. Household cares weighed 
heavily upon her, and were prone to irritate her to 
the point of renouncing them altogether. Only at The 
Cottage could she support their recurrence, and that 
because they were there reduced to a minimum, not 
only in number, but in kind. And there, too, her 
neighbours bore her burden for her to so great an 
extent that she was spared all the worst annoyances of 
housekeeping. Gardening was her recreation there- 
provisioning the larder was to a great extent the 
care of others. Her guests used to be amazed at 
the daily procession of tribute-bearers, with fish, 
eggs, butter, honey, home-made bread, delicious 
cakes, fowls, game, and fruit to replenish her stores 
morning and evening. The warm hearts about her 
repaid with such affectionate ministration all that 
she did for their intellectual and bodily health, for 
the careers of their sons and daughters, for her 
fellow-feeling in all their joys and sorrows. When 
her servant was ill the neighbours did her work ; 
they looked after the cottage in her absence, saw 
to repairs, to changes, to sowing seeds and planting 


roses. No wonder that she counted the weeks till 
she was free to go back to them. In the meantime 
she sent a long letter to be read at the meeting 
of the Y.W.C.A. " I am trying," she wrote to Mrs. 
Macdonald, " not to be too impatient for the tirrie of 
going to The Cottage." 

Miss Clayton and the Miss Kers came to her on 
May 1 8, and stayed for some weeks. Miss Clayton 
was very ill ; but the others helped her to prepare 
for a sale of the Eastern curios, which took place on 
June 4 and yielded a fair sum towards the projected 

On June 25 at seven o'clock in the evening, three 
hours before Mr. and Mrs. Toole arrived to take 
possession, she left 44 Maida Vale 

After a scrimmage in getting out of it which nearly 
finished me. The Japanese things and the furniture 
and all the carpets but his are sold, and so is the 
silver. The kitchen things and crockery are given 
away ; two hundred books are given to the University 
Union Library in Edinburgh ; all the pictures except 
eight, which are sold, are hung in a friend's house ; 
and the linen, the remaining books, and his precious 
bookshelves are stored. 

On the evening of the 25th Mr. T. W. Russell, 
speaking in the House of Commons upon Mr. Morley's 
motion, referred to Mrs. Bishop's articles on Ireland 
in the following terms : 

The Plan of Campaign has imposed nameless hard- 
ships on the people, who have succumbed to it ; and 
persons tenderly reared have had to herd together 
like swine, in outhouses persons who told those 
who went to see them that they wished to see an 
end of the Plan of Campaign. Let members read 
what Mrs. Bishop said in Murray's Magazine of people 
forced out of their comfortable homes, and praying 
that the Plan of Campaign might come to an end. 

,888] ILLNESS 199 

After a few days at Guildford, she went to Avenue 
Road for a week, and then paid a number of visits 
on her way north, halting at Edinburgh before the 
final stage to The Cottage, which she reached on 

July 31- 

In a letter to Mr. Murray she describes her con- 

I arrived here at the end of July suffering from 
debility, and in four days was seized with acute 
rheumatic fever, which kept me upstairs for six 
weeks. Three weeks in Edinburgh for medical 
treatment has not helped me. My heart is found 
to be much affected. 

Her Rocky Mountains had been translated into 
French and published in France. She was contem- 
plating a return to the Rockies, but not as the 
objective of her travels, rather as a stage on her 
way to the East. Warmer garments might be 
needed there than those prepared for Palestine, so, 
on her coming back to The Cottage, she began to 
make an outfit of Jaeger flannel, which occupied 
her all October and November. 

On the 1 7th she went with Dr. Maxwell to Erray 
Farm, where the shepherd's wife was suffering from 
a malignant growth which involved an operation. 
Mrs. Bishop administered the chloroform and for 
some weeks afterwards visited the doctor's patient, 
daily preparing and taking with her tempting food 
chicken, soup, jelly, arrowroot. Another patient 
frequently cared for in this personal manner was 
Mary Mackinnon, who had severe pleurisy with 
effusion that winter. Mrs. Bishop often accompanied 
Dr. Maxwell in his duty calls. They were usually 
paid late at night, so as to leave the patient provided 
with all necessary comfort till the morning. One dark 


night, coming down North High Street, which is 
now called Victoria Street to commemorate Queen 
Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Mrs. Bishop stuck fast 
in the deep mud due to deluges of rain. One foot 
she managed to free, but had to ask Dr. Maxwell to 
draw her other foot out of the top-boot which she was 
wearing, and which she could not extricate. Weather 
formed no obstacle to her rounds, and all that dark 
and stormy December she was busy amongst her poor 
people again, sometimes from two till nine o'clock. 

She stayed at The Cottage till Christmas was past 
and took her full share in the conduct of the Western 
Islands branch of the Y.W.C.A., to whose members 
she gave several admirable addresses on successive 
Thursday evenings. One of these was on "Thrift," 
another on " Dress," a third on " Courtesy." The 
course was wound up with a directly religious appeal, 
and of this a brief precis in her own writing survives, 
which may be quoted : 

From The Cottage, where her life-work was done, 
my sister ascended to receive from the Master's hands 
the crown of glory which fadeth not away. There 
also my husband spent his last summer in his native 
land ere he, too, departed to be with Christ, which 
for him is far better. I returned alone, not to fill her 
place, which must remain for ever unfilled, but to take 
up such fragments of her work as I could do. Now 
I go on a far journey, which brings vividly before me 
the journey which we must all take. Each journey 
must be on two roads, the one easy and trod by many 
the other rough and narrow and trod by few. But each, 
near or far, is barred across by a river roaring in the 
darkness. I seem to hear it now rising and falling, 
and some of us are not far from its brink. The 
darkness hangs over it, and from its farther shore no 
mortal has returned. Friends go down to it with us, 
but as we plunge in we are lost to their sight. We 
know little of the other side, but it has been revealed 

i888] FAREWELL 201 

that a day of great awfulness which none can escape 
lies beyond. The great and dreadful day of the Lord 
cometh as a thief in the night. Each of us must see 
it and stand individually before Him who once came 
to save the world and who will then come to judge 
it. ... I must end with a loving farewell. From many 
of you 1 have received years of generous kindness, and 
I carry your goodness with me on my long journey ; 
and you young people, whom I have so gladly met 
during the last two months by our own uncertain 
lives, by the shadows of the closing year, by the yearn- 
ing love of God the Father, by the strong love even 
unto death of Christ the Saviour, by the priceless 
worth of the souls He shed His blood to save, by the 
river which in hope or fear each one of us must one day 
cross, by the judgment seat before which we shall 
all one day appear, I, who most surely will never see 
all your faces again, beseech you lovingly, you who 
are yet out of Christ, to yield to the pleadings of His 
love and give yourselves in heart and life to Him now 
and for ever, and may He who alone is able to keep 
us from falling present us all faultless before the 
presence of His glory with exceeding joy in that 
great day of His appearing. 

On the morning of December 28, while the moon 
still shone, she left for Glasgow to make arrange- 
ments with Mr. Dunlop for her voyage to India. 
As her health had greatly improved, she gave up 
the western route and decided to travel by the 
Mediterranean and the Red Sea. A passage including 
a deck cabin was presented to her for February 15 
in the Kerbela. 

In Edinburgh and London she completed all her 
business arrangements for a prolonged absence. 

I have been nearly bewildered [she wrote] by the 
number of things I have had to do and arrange and 
the number of people I have had to see. Every- 
body with w;hom I have any acquaintance seems to 
want something or other just as I am going away. 
I am completely overwhelmed, and this coming journey 


involves seeing so many people and getting so much 
official advice and Government help if it is to be 

On January 22 she went to Bournemouth, to Miss 
Clayton, and wrote thence to Mrs. Macdonald on 
the 24th : 

Here I am finishing needlework, arranging my 
remaining affairs, answering about fourteen letters 
a day, and studying India and Persia. When I leave 
the dear ones here, I shall feel as if the " bitterness 
of death " were past. The voyage will be a strange 
time, a silent interval between the familiar life which 
lies behind, with all the treasure of friendship and 
interests belonging to it, and the strange unknown 
life which lies before. I wish you could see my 
outfit, packed in four small boxes, 20 in. long, 12 in. 
wide, and 12 in. high, and a brown waterproof bag 
containing a canvas stretcher-bed, a cork mattress, 
blankets, woollen sheets, a saddle, etc. 

That Tibet and Persia were already within the 
scope of her plans is evident from the books which 
she was collecting to read on the voyage, the list of 
which included La Perse, la Chaldee, et la Susiane, by 
Madame Dieulafoy, and a bluebook on Tibet, secured 
for her use by Sir Edwin Arnold. On February 15 
Mrs. Bishop went on board the Kerbela and was 
delighted with the ship, its officers, crew, and 

Such a set of officers and passengers I have never 
seen [she wrote three weeks later] ; the one rivalry is 
in kindnesses and in making the time pass pleasantly 
for others, and every one is so bright and cheerful. 

She wrote to Mr. Murray from the Suez Canal 
on March 6, 1889: 

This is our third day in this blazing ditch ; a simoon 
and heavy sand storm, making it impossible for the 

i88 9 ] PORT SAID 203 

pilot to see the beacons, have compelled us to anchor 
for eighteen hours and have similarly brought the 
whole traffic of the Canal to a standstill. We cannot 
see the ship's head from the poop. 

On the /th the Kerbela reached Suez, but the main 
theme of a letter to Mrs. Macdonald, written on the 
loth, refers to Port Said. Dr. John Macdonald was 
resident physician there at the hospital, and Mrs. 
Bishop had promised his mother to give her a full 
account of their meeting. It was nearly 10 p.m. 
when the Kerbela anchored for twelve hours. A 
message to the hospital miscarried, and after waiting 
an hour Mrs. Bishop decided to venture a search 
in the dark. The captain offered to escort her, so 
they got an Arab boat and landed. They passed 
through Port Said and then ploughed and staggered 
through deep sand and deeper darkness towards what 
they were assured were the hospital lights. 

Then we found two gates, not doors, with two open 
corridors without roofs, and banged at these. Sister 
Katherine came, with her sweet saintly face looking 
like an angel in the darkness as the light of a lamp fell 
on her. She welcomed me very warmly, and took me 
into John's room. He was out at a rehearsal of The 
Mikado. I was angry, for I was so tired, and this 
delay meant sitting up all night. Then I went over 
the hospital with Sister Katherine, returning to John's 
room. When she left me I was all alone, with no 
sound but the beating of the surf on the shore. I 
waited till 12 and then got tea. John came back at 
12.20, and we talked till 4.30, when Sister K. brought 
in some coffee, after which he walked with me to the 
wharf, where we got an Arab boat, and I was on board 
at 5.30, just as the dark sky was beginning to redden 
over the desert. He speaks Arabic, and even in the 
early morning was followed with blessings from 
Arabs whose eyes he has cured. This was the last bit 
of home I shall have. How I long for the coarsest gale 


which ever swept over Tobermory, and the howlings 
in The Cottage, and hail and rain and wet clothes, and 
streams, and even mud, and leeks and cucumbers and 
milk the delicious milk of your cow ! We hope to 
reach Aden on Wednesday and discharge thirty tons of 
gunpowder. On arriving in India, I take a railroad 
journey of 1,100 miles. 

The sandstorm passed and the rest of the voyage 
was uneventful except for quoit tournaments, 
which Mrs. Bishop enjoyed. At Karachi on March 21 
she was met by Mr. Mclvor and sped on her long- 
journey to Lahore, which she reached in blazing 
heat on the 24th, and where she spent ten days, 
making pleasant acquaintances and meeting Sir 
Frederick and Lady Roberts, whom she was later 
to know well at Srinagar. Her object in halting 
at Lahore was to visit its hospitals and dispensaries, 
both native and missionary. 

At Sialkot, her next stage, she went to Dr. Whyte's 
hospital and dispensary, and thence by Rawal Pindi 
and Dulai, sometimes riding a pony, sometimes driven 
in a rough hill-cart drawn by starved and worn-out 
horses, and finally by water, she made her way through 
the beautiful ravines of Kashmir to Srinagar. Her 
toilsome journey to Baramulla from Sialkot took 
ten whole days. Then she changed into a house- 
boat on the Jhelum river, passed through quiet 
canals and swamps full of irises, along meadows 
green as an English lawn, by fresh-leafed poplars, 
camped on the banks by night, and reached Srinagar 
by April 22. Here she was met by Mr. Knowles 
and Dr. Arthur Neve, and taken to the Residency, 
where she stayed for a time. 

She now first became closely associated with the 
missionary enterprises of the C.M.S., and, says Mr. 

!88 9 ] ISLAMABAD 205 

Eugene Stock, she never after lost that keen interest 
in their doings of which a foreshadowing may be 
discerned in her references to the Society's work 
amongst the aborigines of Yezo, in Unbeaten Tracks 
in Japan. 

Her first care was to make herself acquainted with 
the needs of medical mission work in the capital 
of Kashmir and its neighbourhood. The Ottoman 
Government had refused to grant an trade for the 
hospital in Palestine, and she now decided to 
place it in Kashmir, where it was much needed. 
Dr. Neve describes one of the earliest expeditions 
which she made in search of a site. 

We visited Islamabad and camped for some days at 
Bawan. She rode the marches dressed in a semi- 
Persian costume. To me it looked quaint the dark 
divided skirt, long tea-coloured cloak, pagri, and blue 
veil. And she sat perched on the top of the horse just 
like a Yarkandi woman. But the value of the costume 
was at once realised as we went through the narrow, 
crowded bazaar. The natives took no notice whatever 
of her. Had she dressed in European style and ridden 
side-saddle, many would have turned to gaze ; but her 
Asiatic costume and thick veil excited no curiosity, and 
with Oriental good breeding, they scarcely lifted their 
eyes to the apparently purdah lady on horseback. 
In the mission work she took a keen interest. When 
in camp with me she came to look on at the clinique. 
For the earlier part of the day I was kept busy by the 
throng of clamant patients ; first giving to each 
successive batch a brief address about our Lord Jesus 
Christ. On such occasions one has audiences some of 
whom are both intelligent and appreciative, although 
the majority are ignorant and apathetic. In the course 
of each day many operations were performed, and I 
remember her great interest in a man with a large 
malignant tumour of the neck, which I removed. It 
was a big operation to undertake in such primitive 
surroundings. Overhead was the green canopy of the 
magnificent plane-trees. Crystal-clear water straight 
from the spring flowed swiftly past in its stone-lined 


conduit, while all around gazed a silent crowd kept 
back by the chowkidar and one or two voluntary police. 
Mrs. Bishop took a keen interest in all things surgical, 
and offered help as well as looked on. And her heart 
went out to the people, as " sheep without a shepherd " 
given over to the tender mercies of mercenary moullahs 
and professional saints. 

Islamabad, a beautiful town on a fertile plain, 
thirty-two miles by road from Srinagar, was even- 
tually chosen as most in need of a hospital for women 
and children. The town stands under limestone cliffs, 
from which the well-watered plain stretches to the 
Jhelum river, two of whose sources flow past the 
pyramidal cliffs. The plain is densely populated, 
and Dr. Neve estimates that 250,000 people inhabit 
a radius of twenty miles round Islamabad. 

Mrs. Bishop wrote to Miss Clayton (June i) : 

I lunched at the Residency just as the Maharajah 
was making his farewell call, with a salute of seven- 
teen guns and a great streaming of banners. The 
Resident said he was in a very bad humour, and 
accused him of giving all his best land to the mis- 
sionaries. This meant that the Council have given 
a piece of land in a very eligible situation to me for 
the Memorial Hospital. I could hardly believe that 
I heard aright, after all the weary work about Nazareth 
and the final failure. This morning I went to see it in 
a boat with Dr. Neve and Dr. Fanny Butler. It is 
beautifully situated within three lovely waterways, 
et within five minutes of the centre of the town, and 
as three large chenar-trees upon it. It is 240 ft. by 
273 ft. On it will be built an out-patient department, 
a waiting-room, consulting-room, operation-room, and 
dispensary; two pavilions, fifty feet long, to hold thirty- 
two patients ; and a serai, or rest-house, for patients' 
friends, who come to nurse and cook for them. An 
operating-room will be attached, a two-storied house 
for the four missionary ladies will be built on the same 
ground but with that I have nothing to do. It is to 
be called the "John Bishop Memorial Hospital," and 



thus I hope the righteous will be had in everlasting 
remembrance. It is nice that both the Drs. Neve 
were his students, and that one was his assistant for 
nine months at the Cowgate Dispensary, and that 
Miss Butler's brother was one 01 his old friends. 
The C.M.S. are to be the trustees, and the C.E.Z.M. 
are to take the buildings at a rent which will keep 
them in repair. The bricks are to be made at once, 
and the wood sawn. 

At this time Dr. Ernest Neve and three of the 
lady missionaries were encamped at Nasim Bagh, 
on the Dal Lake, and Dr. Arthur Neve escorted 
her by boat to see them and talk over the build- 
ing plans. An incident, narrated by Dr. Neve, 
probably took place on their return journey to 

We were floating in the calm summer afternoon 
down the broad Jhelum River in our matting house- 
boats. It was the time of year when sudden gusts 
sweep down the mountain gorges. I saw a squall 
coming up the valley and whitening the surface of 
the river, and shouted to her boatman to make for 
the right bank. Before they could reach it the wind 
caught her boat, blowing its matting about and carry- 
ing away all scattered articles, including some of her 
precious MSS. My boat was nearly wrecked. In 
using the punting-pole one of my men was knocked 
down and injured, and we were dashed against the 
bank. I sprang out and passed a rope round a near 
tree, but it snapped like a pack-thread, and the boat 
continued its wild career up-stream, swinging round 
and striking the bank, and with great difficulty was 
finally brought to anchorage just short of some over- 
hanging trees, which would have upset and sunk it in 
deep water. Her boat was lower down, and was safely 
moored ; but Mrs. Bishop herself stepped out into the 
shallow water, and came along the marshy bank to see 
if she could be of any assistance. In the presence of 
danger she became alert and almost gay, making light 
of her own losses, for many of her things had been 
blown into the river. A pair of stockings, which she 


had washed and hung up to dry, were among the 
things blown overboard ; and as she came along to my 
boat with wet feet, I discovered that she had no change 
with her and was not too proud to wear a pair of my 

She soon suffered a loss which fretted her consider- 
ably. During the absence of the medical missionaries, 
they placed their house at her disposal, and she used 
its large, cool drawing-room to write in. Here she 
had compiled a long, detailed diary letter, giving 
a minute account of her journey from Lahore, and 
of the earlier part of her stay at Srinagar. It was 
addressed to Miss Clayton, who kept such letters 
till required for her records of travel. This letter 
was either blown into the Jhelum, or disappeared in 
some mysterious fashion. 

The hospital was built upon the site granted, as a 
Memorial to Dr. Bishop, and was the first of her many 
benefactions to the work of the C.M.S. It was sub- 
sequently destroyed by floods and rebuilt. 

The actual building fell to my lot [writes Dr. Arthur 
Neve]. Excellent limestone for all building purposes 
was quarried locally and the bricks were made on the 
spot. Brick-kilns and lime-kilns were soon in full 
swing. The neighbouring streams might have brought 
timber almost to the door, but it was dry summer, 
and the logs cut far away in the mountains had to 
be floated down the rivers sawn up into rafters and 
planks six miles away, and carried by gangs of porters 
across the plateau. I made a weekly visit, usually 
bicycling up in the lovely mornings and sometimes 
back the same evening, a distance of 65 miles. As 
soon as the buildings were approximately ready, 
Dr. Minnie Gomery and Miss rJewnham went to 
live there, at first in tents, superintending the finish- 
ing and fitting of the institution and starting a little 
medical work. 

There were many excursions with Dr. Neve on 

i88 9 ] AT SRINAGAR 209 

his medical missionary tours, when he took a portable 
hospital building in the boat and was accompanied 
by two assistants. She went several times also to 
the women's hospital and dispensary in Srinagar and 
was appalled at the disease, misery, and sordid neglect 
which were the portion of poor women in that 
beautiful city. Overcrowding, filth, putrid water, and 
every kind of revolting disease cried aloud for medical 
missionaries amongst them. For a time Dr. Neve 
lent Mrs. Bishop his bungalow by the Jhelum, where 
there was a garden and the singing of birds, and 
where she had peace sometimes lunching and dining 
at the Residency, sometimes having food brought to 
her. She kept three boats moored close at hand, 
one swift and light, which was paddled by two men 
and served her for short excursions on the Jhelum 
and the Pohru. Friends gathered about her, Miss 
Roberts, Mr. and Mrs. Laurence, and other residents 
and travellers, and with them she rode, camped, and 
explored the country. Her horse was a big, gentle 
Yarkandi, which a dishonest seis was gradually starv- 
ing into stupidity. As the heat grew more intolerable, 
she longed for the " wilderness," where evening dress 
and ceremony were unknown, and where the unex- 
pected enriched each day's experience. Mosquitoes 
now disturbed her peace upon the rivers, and a host 
of Anglo-Indian visitors arrived for the summer and 
drove peace away from the shores. 

So she planned an ascent to the plateaux of Lesser 
Tibet, engaged two servants in addition to the worth- 
less seis, received from Colonel Durand, in exchange 
for the Yarkand horse, a silver-grey Arab, untamable 
and mischievous, but " tireless, hardy, hungry," grace- 
ful, and swift. In addition to her own servants, she 
had to endure the escort of a brutal and ruffianly 


Afghan soldier sent by the Maharajah. Three mules 
were bought to carry the tents, equipments, and 
supplies, of which the merest necessaries were taken, 
since throughout the route meat, milk, flour, barley, 
and provender for the animals could be bought. 

It took her twenty-six days to reach Leh, her first 
stage being Ganderbal, about sixteen hours' sail from 
Srinagar. She left the Residency at four in the after- 
noon of June 21, by house-boat, and accomplished 
her water-journey by 8 a.m. on the 22nd. From 
Ganderbal she wrote to Miss Clayton : 

I am now sitting under the dense shade of a huge 
plane-tree, while the boat is being unloaded. I have 
the scoundrel Fais Khan, of whom from a former 
master, Dr. Warburton, I have heard a very bad 
character, a Kashmiri lad to help generally, and the 
Afghan swashbuckler, all Mohammedans. I tried 
to get one Hindu, to prevent if possible a general 
conspiracy against me, but not one could be found 
strong enough for the journey. So that I can only 
hope that motives of interest may keep them all 
straight but crossing the reedy Anchar Lake last 
night in the darkness, sitting alone on the prow of 
my boat, I thought it the most risky journey I had 
ever undertaken. I have safely reached the capital of 
Little Tibet, where there is one Englishman repre- 
senting the Indian Government and two Moravian 
missionaries. I stayed at the Residency till Wednes- 
day afternoon. On Tuesday there was a tennis party. 
The young Rajah of Kapurtala with his English 
guardians and an immense retinue played all the 
evening with an English lady for his partner, and his 
manner to women was very gentlemanly. Prince 
Amar Singh, the Maharajah's brother and Prime 
Minister, a superbly handsome man, was there with 
his attendants, but took no part and spoke to no one 
but the Resident. You would know what white robes 
are if you saw the dazzling spotlessness of these men. 
One wore a pale pink and the other an apricot- 
coloured turban. The heat was so great that, after 

i88 9 ] GANDERBAL 211 

dinner, carpets, lamps, and chairs were put on the 

On Wednesday morning, in the Maharajah's state 
barge, rowed by banks of crimson peons, we went down 
to shop in the city in a sun-blaze which threatened to 
smite me in a moment. Then I went to my tent and 
packed at Dr. Neve's till six. Dr. Warburton, the 
young Rajah's guardian, and the two Neves came to 
dinner, and the heat was so awful that instead of 
sitting in the verandah we went on the river by the 
light of a lantern. Thursday was a dreadful day of 
misty, blazing heat, the packing and the buzzing fear- 
ful none of the necessaries arriving, no bottles to be 
got notes to write; and then the new horse squealed at 
intervals all night. At ten I went and sat with Dr. Neve 
while he breakfasted. We had a great deal of talk 
about the arrangements of the new hospital. He gave 
me a bottle of digitalis tabloids and a oottle of spirit 
for my Etna. Then I went to tiffin with the Knowles, 
then finished packing in a buzz indescribable, ending 
by my coming away in another person's sandals 
because my own had not come. Miss Hull took me 
in her boat to the Residency. 

The Resident gave me a Government pass to 
Kashgar, in case I wish to go beyond Ladakh ; and 
at half-past three I left in my own boat, having actually 
to stop for necessaries on the way. I think that, so far 
as getting an insight into mission work goes, Kashmir 
has been most valuable, but the climate is a very dis- 
appointing one. Through the canal we came till it 
broadened into the Anchar Lake a reedy sheet of 
water, the breeding-ground of mosquitoes. The tawny 
twilight darkened into a stifling night, and I was on 
the prow of the boat till nine, eaten by mosquitoes. 
Then we drifted into a reed-bed for the night, and a 
man brought me hot water from the other end of the 
boat by wading along its side up to his chin in water. 
This morning we reached Ganderbal on the Sind River, 
at the mouth of the Sind Valley, my first stage on the 
route from the Punjab to Central Asia and Tibet. 

At Ganderbal Mrs. Bishop made up her caravan, 
hired another servant, and started upon a five days' 
march up the beautiful Sind Valley to Sonamarg. 


" Gyalpo," her Arab horse, outstripped the caravan, 
and generally reached the camping-ground an hour 
before tent, baggage, and servants. She was obliged 
to see him fed herself. 

Fais Khan is not only cheating me [she wrote], but 
leyying blackmail on every one from whom I get any- 
thing. Starving the horse is the most serious thing 
of all. 

Her military escort was a daily trial ; but fortunately 
she did not know till later that he had added murder 
to his other accomplishments. His costume was 

A patched whitish shirt with hanging sleeves, black 
leggings bound with scarlet, breeches (once white), 
tanned socks and sandals, a leather belt with various 
leathern things depending from it, a dark blue turban 
round a red-peaked cap with one end dangling over 
the back, my grey bag slung over his shoulders, a 
scimitar carried over one shoulder, and my alpenstock 
in his other hand. 

He further decorated himself by sticking flowers 
into his turban. He maltreated the villagers on the 
route, stole their fowls and took all he wanted in 
her name, and beat them with the flat of his sword 
if they resisted. The other two servants were happily 
better, and the young Kashmiri Mando was good 
to Gyalpo, who loved him. Her great self-control 
enabled her, if not to prevent the malpractices of 
Fais Khan and Usman Shah, at all events to limit 
them and to retain her authority over them. 

Mr. Laurence overtook her on the third day, and sat 
half an hour with her under the shade of a big walnut- 
tree. He was busy valuing the land for taxation, 
and was worried at the oppression which the people 
suffered from Hindu Pandits. The heat was excessive, 
and flowers were few, as they toiled up to Sonamarg, 

i88 9 ] SON AM ARC 213 

jasmines, larkspurs, and crimson lychnis being about 
all that she noted. Her order of the day was : 

In bed before nine ; tea and toast at six ; dress, 
pack, start with the Afghan and sets at seven having 
sent on a coolie eight miles with the servants' square 
tent, the luncheon basket with rice, hard-boiled eggs, 
cold tea, and cherries, and my cork mattress. Halt at 
ten ; pitch the tent, lie down for two and a half hours 
(such a luxury but for the proximity of things that 
creep), feed, and go on again for another hour. The 
Afghan has stuck a spear in front of the tent with 
his sword hung upon it, and is asleep somewhere. 
Gyalpo is 'tethered under a huge walnut-tree. The 
valley has become narrow and stupendous, the thun- 
der of the Sind louder than ever. It poured, and 
I pitched my camp-stool close to the trunk of a tree, 
as the tents were far behind, when Mr. Sells, who had 
come on early, asked me to take shelter within the 
flaps of his tent, and afterwards invited me to tiffin 
under a tree such a luxurious meal. Mr, Sells is an 
exquisite artist ; he paints a picture on every march. 
I rested, read, and at half-past four went out for two 
hours with Mr. Sells to watch him paint, then had a 
poor dinner and went to bed. 

Her next stage was Sonamarg, where Mrs. Laurence 
was living in a log hut, and where she was warmly 
welcomed and set down to a plentiful breakfast. She 
stayed here for several days, using her own tent as 
a sleeping-place. The heat was modified by thunder- 
storms, and, as usual, the mountain air refreshed 
her. One of the Commissioners for the Panjab, Mr. 
Maconachie, had a hut close at hand, and offered to 
give her ruffianly servants a threatening lecture, 
which proved effectual. He had heard of their pecu- 
lations and violence from Dr. Ernest Neve, who paid 
them all a passing visit at Sonamarg. 

On June 27 she wrote : 

Yesterday afternoon Mrs. Laurence and I went out 


and had our tea below the glacier, a cow being taken 
to be milked. It is very grand scenery, mountains 
of naked grey pinnacles close by covered with snow 
and glaciers pine- and birch-clad spurs. On one of 
the narrow ridges we are camped and hutted. Below 
there are mountain-meadows, one of them deeply cut 
by a torrent, which comes foaming down from the 
glaciers through pines. After tea we went to see 
the Macpnachies, whose acquaintance I had made on 
the Nasim Bagh. The air was delicious. I could 
walk better, and at night a great log fire, with the 
fresh air rushing through all the crannies, was quite 
comfortable. . . . Dr. Ernest Neve has just been to 
say that if I will start to-morrow afternoon, he and 
Mr. Maconachie will march with me to Baltal, camp 
there, and at five on Saturday morning see me safe 
up to the top of the Zoji La. 

This is the first of the three mighty steps which 
lead up to the great table-land of Central Asia from 
Kashmir, and, as it is the only dangerous pass between 
Sonamarg and Leh, she most thankfully accepted 
their chivalrous offer, veiled by a protest that they 
" longed to stand on the top of Zoji La." 

The march to Baltal lasted four hours and was 
marked by an accident to Gyalpo, fortunately while 
Mrs. Bishop herself was on foot. The sets took him, 
against orders, over a raging torrent by means of 
a high log bridge which turned round just as he 
reached the middle, so that, though the man saved 
himself, the Arab fell down into the rocky, surging 
river and only by a desperate effort got ashore with 
scratched and bleeding legs. 

Very early next morning they began their perilous 
ascent of the pass by a narrow track cut along the side 
of a rocky wall, zig-zagging and dangerous, but re- 
lieved by the beauty of fringing creepers, lilies, and 
columbines. Up the caravan toiled by the shelving 
path, and after some hours of hard climbing they stood 

i88 9 ] ON THE ZOJI LA 215 

upon the summit and gazed at Central Asia. They 
breakfasted together at the top, icing their tea in the 
snow, and then Mr. Maconachie and Dr. Ernest Neve 
bade her farewell and turned back to Baltal. What 
she saw, as she stood there alone, she has described 
in Among the Tibetans, a little book published in 1894 
by the Religious Tract Society. Her word-picture 
gives the spectacle as the fragile traveller's brave eyes 
looked upon it, at a moment fraught with thrilling 
interest the dream of years realised, the long faring 
accomplished, the near future under her like a mystic 
scroll, her guerdon for toil and privation. 

Below, in shadow lay the Baltal camping-ground, 
a lonely, deodar-belted flowery meadow, noisy with 
the dash of icy torrents tumbling down from the snow- 
fields and glaciers upborne by the gigantic mountain 
range into which we had penetrated by the Zoji Pass. 
The valley, lying in shadow at their base, was a dream 
of beauty, green as an English lawn, starred with 
white lilies and dotted with clumps of trees which 
were festooned with red and white roses, clematis, 
and white jasmine. Above the hardier deciduous 
trees appeared the Pinus excelsa, the silver fir, and the 
spruce ; higher yet the stately grace of the deodar 
clothed the hill-sides, and above the forests rose the 
snow mountain of Tilail. Higher than the Zoji 
itself 1 1, 500 ft. in altitude a mass of grey and red 
mountains, snow-slashed and snow-capped, rose in 
the dewy, rose-flushed atmosphere in peaks, walls, 
pinnacles, and jagged ridges, above which towered 
yet loftier summits, bearing into the heavenly blue 
sky fields of unsullied snow alone. The descent on 
the Tibetan side is slight and gradual. The character 
of the scenery undergoes an abrupt change. There 
are no more trees, and the large shrubs which for 
a time take their place degenerate into thorny bushes 
and then disappear. There were mountains thinly 
clothed with grass here and there, mountains of bare 
gravel and red rock, grey crags, stretches of green 
turf, sunlit peaks with their snows, a deep snow-filled 


ravine eastwards, and beyond a long valley filled with 
a snow-field fringed with pink primulas ; and that was 
Central Asia. 

Gyalpo brought her by three o'clock in the 
afternoon to Matayan fourteen miles away partly 
descending, partly across wide valleys, and she sat 
in the midst of staring women till her tent arrived. 
Matayan was still Kashmir ; she had to ride and 
march across the Dras valley, with its villages, to 
climb up to Kargil, to wilt under the heat of a lofty 
plateau of sand, to traverse ravines and rocky wilder- 
nesses, before she emerged upon Shergol, the first 
village of true Buddhist Tibetans, where, as she says 
in her book, " the intensely human interest of the 
journey began." 

A record of her three months in Lesser Tibet is 
so fully furnished in Among the Tibetans that the 
reader may be referred to its pages for her adventures 
there, one of which nearly ended her life. But it may 
be mentioned that the wretched sets was at last dis- 
missed for cruelty to Gyalpo, and that the iniquities 
of Usman Shah came to light at Leh. Her Arab was 
replaced on the rough ascents by a yak, or Tibetan ox, 
a steed of exciting possibilities, half savage still after 
centuries of attempted taming, with an alarming habit 
of knocking over its leader, bellowing defiance, and 
leaping down the slopes from boulder to boulder till 
it finds its herd, leaving its rider to accommodate 
herself to the circumstances. Mrs. Bishop used her 
Mexican saddle and dress and on the whole enjoyed 
her rides, on which she had for guide and most 
interesting companion the man who best loved the 
Tibetans and was her most influential sponsor 
amongst them, the late Rev. W. Redslob, of Leh. 



A PRIVATE letter from Leh gives news of Mrs. Bishop's 
health there. It is addressed to Lady Middleton, and 
is dated August 11, 1889: 

I have now been nearly two months in Western 
Tibet; it is most interesting, and in some respects 
wonderful, but living at an altitude varying from 
11,000 to 17,000 ft. has not improved my health. I 
feel very weak. All my journey has to be done on 
horse or yak back, and I often feel nearly dead. I 
wish I could send my Badakshan horse (Gyalpo) to 
Lord Middleton's stud, to be the sire of a race of 
horses. He goes anywhere and does anything even 
came over the Kharzong glacier last week, and swam 
the rapids of the Shayok ; not an old woman's horse, 
but I contrive to get on with him. I like the Tibetans 
very much. 

Mrs. Bishop slowly descended to the Panjab, Mando 
and Hassan Khan still with her, and some coolies 
from Leh, who took care of her tents and baggage. 
Gyalpo was groomed by Mando, and, on occasion, 
when Mando was powerless from cold, by herself. 
The marches were now over desolate, gravelly passes, 
across broad valleys of sand, regions without vegeta- 
tion and without water, where for two nights the 
baggage-ponies could get no food. When the snow- 
peaks reddened in the dawn the camping-grounds 
were often white with hoar-frost. They reached 



flowing water at Lahul, or British Tibet, and there 
to her sorrow she was met by 

A creature in a nondescript dress, speaking Hindu- 
stani volubly. On a band across his breast were 
the British crown and the words " Commissioner's 
chaprassicy Kulu District." I never felt so extinguished. 
Liberty seemed lost, and the romance of the desert to 
have died out in one moment. 

But the chaprassie had brought an escort, cows, and 
cowherd, all of which (with the exception of the 
escort, sent promptly back to the Tibetan dignitary) 
went on with her, to her great comfort, in the terrible 
Baralacha Pass, which took three days to cross. 
When c they reached Kylang, in the Lahul valley, 
she remained three weeks with Mr. and Mrs. Heyde, 
missionaries then of forty years' standing in British 
Tibet. Here she added to her notes on the people, 
lamas, religious festivals, education, and conditions of 
Christian teaching. All through her Tibetan travels 
she was deeply impressed by the self-sacrifice and 
heroic persistence of the German Moravian mis- 
sionaries, " learned, genial, cultured, who, whether 
teaching, preaching, farming, gardening, printing, or 
doctoring, are always and everywhere ' living epistles 
of Christ, known and read of all men.'" 

It took four weeks to descend to the Panjab from 
Kylang, and it was not till Thursday, October 17, 
that she reached Simla. 

The Persian journey contemplated before she left 
England had now almost sunk into the limbo of 
unattainable ambitions, so strongly had her Indian 
friends warned her against its hardships. But in 
Simla she met probably at the Residency or when 
lunching with Sir Mortimer Durand Major Sawyer, 
Assistant Quartermaster-General, who was charged 


with a military-geographical mission to Persia, and who 
agreed to escort her, at all events, as far as Tihran 
and Isfahan. This revival of her original purpose 
led to a change in her immediate movements. 

But her work in India was not completed. In 
addition to the "John Bishop Memorial Hospital" at 
Srinagar she desired to provide a small hospital and 
dispensary in memory of her sister, Henrietta Bird, 
and made many visits and inquiries to secure the site 
and building. On the day after her final conversation 
with Major Sawyer respecting the Persian journey, 
she left her luggage at Simla and started on a little 
tour to missionary headquarters at Ambala, Amritsar, 
and Batala. It is interesting to find that, in addition 
to her careful inspection of hospitals, she gave an 
address to the girls of the Alexandra School at 
Amritsar on November 10. Here she was impressed 
by the character of Dr. Martyn Clark's work at the 
Medical Mission Hospital, and finding that a disused 
hotel on an old high road at Bias, near Amritsar, 
was to be had, she bought the buildings, and left 
funds for their adaptation and equipment as a women's 
hospital and dispensary in Dr. Clark's hands. The 
place was at once put into order, and by February 
of 1890 was in working condition. It contained six- 
teen bedrooms for patients and nurses, a billiard-room 
which is used for meetings, and out-buildings made 
into waiting-rooms and dispensary. It added to her 
satisfaction in leaving the "Henrietta Bird Hospital" 
in Dr. Clark's charge that he was an old student of 
Dr. Bishop's. 

She had good news, too, of the progress of her 
hospital at Srinagar ; it was rising rapidly, and 
Dr. Neve hoped it would be completed by May. Ten 
days at Lahore and a visit to Sialkot followed this 


business transaction, and from December 3 to 12 she 
was again in Lahore, where she made some prepara- 
tion for her projected journey, and had the privilege 
of being guided through the museum by its learned 
curator, Mr. Kipling, whom his distinguished son 
has immortalised in Kim. Then came the long train 
journey to Karachi, where her hosts were Mr. and 
Mrs. Mclvor, and where she completed her equipment 
and met Major Sawyer. 

From Karachi to Bushire was the first stage ; from 
Bushire to Baghdad the second. Of the former there 
remain but scanty details, due to, the loss of all her 
notes at Julfa. She spent Christmas Day on the 
s.s. Assyria, and on New Year's Eve passed, at the 
junction of the Tigris and Euphrates, Gurman, the spot 
selected by tradition as the Garden of Eden. But 
before the year ended she landed at Bushire in the 
British Resident's steam-launch and was most 
hospitably entertained by Colonel Ross during the 
stay of the Assyria. 

At Fao Dr. Bruce came on board and was her 
fellow traveller as far as Baghdad. Mr. Curzon, 
now Lord Curzon, joined at Mohammerah, fresh 
from his exploration of the Karun River. At Basrah 
they were transferred to the s.s. Mejidieh, which 
took them slowly to Baghdad, after three days' 
sailing on the Tigris. There Dr. Sutton met Mrs. 
Bishop and took her and Dr. Bruce to the C.M.S. 
Mission House for the four days which Major Sawyer 
required to complete his caravan. 

She had engaged a servant at Bushire and now 
hired five mules, two for riding and three for baggage, 
with muleteers to look after them. She reduced her 
camp furniture to a folding-bed and a chair, and 
adopted native trunks for her belongings. Provisions, 


a revolver, and a brasier were amongst these. For 
the first time she rode a saddle-mule, and found it 
less satisfactory than any one of her former steeds. 
On January 10 the caravans started on what she 
ever afterwards described as an " awful journey." 

I never would have undertaken it had I known the 
hardships it would involve, the long marches, the 
wretched food, the abominable accommodation, 
the filthy water, the brutal barbarism of the people. 
We were detained four days by torrents of rain at 
Khonnikin, the last town in Asiatic Turkey, at the 
house of the Turkish Governor, and soon after reached 
the snows of the elevated plateaux of Northern Persia, 
and have been marching day after day from eighteen 
to twenty-two miles with mercury at from four to 
twelve degrees below the zero of Fahrenheit, through 
snow from 18 in. to 3 ft. deep, sometimes getting 
on only one and a half mile an hour, and putting up at 
night either in cold, filthy, and horrible caravan-serais 
with three or four hundred mules and their drivers 
or in Kurdish houses shared with mules, asses, cows, 
and sheep. In Turkey we had an escort of Bashi 
Bazouks, and in Persia of armed horsemen, as we had 
to go through many passes where robber tribes 
descend on small caravans. 

This letter was written at Kirmanshah, where they 
made a long halt, and continues : 

We have been here for nine days, detained by snow, 
observations for longitude, and an illness of mine, and 
are the guests of a wealthy Arab (Prince Abdul 
Raheem). I have learned two things ; one I have 
been learning for nine months past, the utter error of 
Canon Taylor's estimate of Islam. I think it the most 
blighting, withering, degrading influence of any of the 
false creeds. The second thing takes a very short 
time to learn, i.e. that if there is a more venal, devas- 
tating, and diabolical oppression on earth than that of 
the Turk, it is that of the Shah. This is a ruined, 
played-out country, perishing for want of people, of 
water, of fuel, and above all for want of security, 


crushed by the most grinding exactions to which there 
is no limit but the total ruin of those on whom they 
press, without a middle class and without hope. 

At Kirmanshah she had rest from the tossing and 
tumbling of mule-riding, and her host lent her a 
splendid Arab for excursions. But the caravan 
started again on February 3, and there was another 
fortnight of cold and hardship before she reached 
Kum. The day before this start was made she wrote 
a long letter to the Tobermory Y.W.C.A., which 
Mrs. Allan of Aros House read to the members. 
Its account of the journey from Baghdad to Kir- 
manshah endorses the letter to Sir Thomas Grainger 
Stewart, which has just been quoted. 

I left Baghdad with sixteen mules, an English officer, 
three Afghan soldiers, and an escort of mounted 
Turkish soldiers. We have had an awful journey up 
to this point, mostly through snow, with the thermo- 
meter generally below zero, floundering about on 
mules from six to ten hours daily. I have come to 
think parched pease a luxury, so abominable is the 
food. You would hardly believe in what abominable 
places I slept at night, sometimes in a huge stable and 
often in Kurdish houses, quite dark, with a fire of cow- 
dung in the middle of the floor, and men, mules, horses, 
asses, cows, and poultry all together. In such houses 
I have a mat to screen me from the crowd. We were 
attacked in one of them, and the soldiers had to use 
their swords. I never see any women. They have 
nothing to do and see no one. If a woman of the 
poorer class has occasion to go out to get food, she 
puts on a black mask and a large blue sheet, which 
covers her from head to foot. Any woman going out 
otherwise would be put to death. The people are 
most cruelly oppressed. Everything beyond the mere 
necessities of life is taken from them by the rulers, and 
if they hide anything they are taken to prison and 
burnt with hot irons, their finger-bones squeezed and 
broken, and the spies of their feet beaten to a jelly till 
they tell where it is. The towns and villages are 

,890] TI H RAN 223 

falling into heaps of ruins, and the land lies desolate 
without wood to burn and hardly water to drink. 
When I see the awful darkness in which these people 
live, and remember how the news of salvation by Jesus 
Christ is all round us and is brought into our very 
houses and is pressed upon our unwilling hearts, I 
often think of the words of our Lord, " It shall be more 
tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in that day than 
for that city." If I reach Tihran, the capital, I shall 
have travelled through Persia for five hundred miles 
without seeing a missionary or a Christian. 

It was not till February 26 that she and Major 
Sawyer arrived at Tihran, where they were invited 
to stay at the British Legation with Sir Henry 
Drummond Wolff. The journey from Kirmanshah 
had been even worse than the earlier marches so 
graphically described in her book and letters. Over 
passes where fierce blasts met them, over waterless 
regions of black rock and gravel, and finally through 
the deep mud of the Kavir, or Great Salt Desert, 
they rode and stumbled, camping in utter misery, 
her brief hours of rest often occupied with making 
poultices and compresses for the soldiers and muleteers 
who, blinded by the snow and sick with fatigue, 
were many of them in a desperate condition. Six 
of them indeed succumbed, and rumours preceded 
their arrival at Tihran that the whole caravan had 
perished upon one of the most formidable passes, 
where a demoniacal wind met them with havoc in 
its blasts, spreading pleurisy amongst the men, 
sickness and snow-blindness amongst the mules. 
Mrs. Bishop's saddle-mule broke down, and Major 
Sawyer lent her one of the Arab horses which he 
had brought. 

It is a triumph of race [she wrote the day after their 
arrival at Tihran] that we are here at all, and the same 


applies to the splendid Arab horses, which, though half 
dead from their efforts yesterday, plunged through the 
twenty miles of mire without a fall. I was done last 
night, and in such anguish in my side and spine that, 
having been laid down before a fire, I stayed there all 
night. I have lost 32 Ib. weight in the forty-six days 
of our march from Baghdad ! The Sona Pass was 
the worst experience, and four muleteers a little way 
ahead did actually perish from the merciless blast. 

For a time it seemed to her that there was not 
enough in Persia to repay the tremendous risks of 
travel there, but she revised this impression when 
rest and the great kindness of her host and her 
missionary friends restored the normal tranquillity 
of her judgment. Her safe arrival was at once 
telegraphed to England and India by Major Wells, 
the Director of Telegraphs, and a few hours later 
she was receiving despatches of congratulation from 
both friends and strangers. 

After three weeks' stay the incidents of which 
occupy thirty pages of her book on Persia, Sir Henry 
Drummond Wolffs untiring kindness being chief 
amongst them she felt well enough not only for 
her ride to Isfahan, but to contemplate one far more 
adventurous into the mountains of Luristan, within 
the protection of Major Sawyer's escort, but on 
such strict conditions as to leave her practically 
dependent on her own resource and courage. These 
conditions were dictated by the nature of Major 
Sawyer's expedition, one of extreme importance. 
The ride to Isfahan was easy and occupied only 
twelve days, two of which were spent at Kum. 

Mrs. Bishop was invited to take up her quarters 
in the Church Mission House at Julfa, and was there 
for some weeks. Dr. Bruce arrived some days after 
her. He had stayed several weeks longer at Baghdad 


1890] JULFA 225 

and had taken the shorter caravan route by Bushire 
and Shiraz to Julfa, which can be traversed in from 
thirty to thirty-five days. Dr. Bruce writes : 

My wife, daughter, and myself greatly enjoyed her 
sojourn with us for the month of April, 1890. She 
took the keenest interest in the work of the mission 
and was a most delightful guest, whom it was a 
privilege to entertain. 

Julfa is the Armenian suburb of Isfahan, and she 
was glad to reach it after a painful and dangerous 
experience in the meaner streets of the city, where 
she was hooted, spat upon, and howled at by a 
rabble of fanatical men and boys. The sheep-skin 
coat which she had worn during her ride became 
oppressive and she had reverted to European dress, 
so that the absence of the usual shroud drew attention 
to her as a " Nazarene." Julfa " was a haven from 
the howling bigots of Isfahan." 

Mrs. Bishop wrote a most interesting letter to 
Miss Clayton from Julfa, much of which may be 
quoted : 

I was yesterday away from England fourteen months, 
the longest absence I have ever had and when, if ever, 
shall I see its dear, green, misty shores again ? My 
steps will begin to turn northward (D.V.) on the 28th, 
for a march of a thousand miles. My camp is now 
pitched in the hospital compound, my Cabul tent and 
the shiddari, and a small tent that I have designed, an 
enlarged shuldari for the servants. This afternoon I 
have been refitting my dear old tent with new ropes. 
I wonder what experiences I shall have in it. I have 
just read The Greatest Thing in the World, and wish to 
act out the courtesy and kindness which it enjoins 
among the savages and muleteers. That is indeed 
a splendid book. Possibly there are one or two 
phrases and omissions to which a few rigid people 
might take exception, but I am always seeing more 


strongly that doing is Christianity, and possibly many 
of us have paid a disproportionate attention to what 
we believe. It is a striking remark that at the judg- 
ment the verdict is given only on what has been done 
or not done. 

On Tuesday there was the yearly picnic of the 
Armenian congregation at a palace down the river. 
I rode to it in the afternoon. There were 260 
people, and all the women but three came in red. 
On Monday the horse with his " neck clothed with 
thunder " and the cavalry escort came again, and I met 
the Commander-in-chief, Mya Panch, and Dr. Bruce 
at the great Mosque, the Medrasseh, whose splendid 
tiles are a lost art. From thence we went to the 
armoury, where we were joined by General Faisarullah 
Khan and another general. They all did their best to 
make the afternoon agreeable, and gave us tea in the 
standard room. 

The Mya Panch seems a splendid character and 
respected by all. He offered me a military escort for 
my journey, but I declined. Yesterday Major Sawyer 
gave a picnic at the top of a mountain to the Euro- 
peans of Julfa eight, five of whom were the mission 
party. In coming down a very bad place my saddle 
slipped over the horse's head and turned, and it and I 
came off together. Then later, after dark, this horse 
was terribly frightened by some ghostly object and 
nearly threw me, and somehow struck my forehead 
violently with his head, almost stunning me. The 
dazed feeling has only just gone off, and there is a 
lump on my forehead. By means of riding I have not 
become so poorly as I usually am when I lead a seden- 
tary life. It is very pleasant here, though I see and 
hear many fearful things. I miss Mr. Carless very 
much. He left two days ago for Yezd a bright, 
sanctified spirit, a Christian under all circumstances, 
and consequently respected by every one. The Ilkhani 
(the great feudal chief of the bakhtiaris) is disposed to 
be most kind, and, in addition to the letters which 
I have from the Persian Government, my Persian 
friends here have secured his good-will, so that, 
whether my camp separates from the surveying camp 
or not, I think I shall do well. The Ilkhani's son, who 
lives eight marches from here, sent in a horseman to 
see me and attend me, and also wrote to the Mya 

,890] MAJOR SAWYER 227 

Panch most courteously. So I think 'that I shall not 
have to come back, but that literally I shall 


Nightly pitch my moving tent 
A day's march nearer home. 

ajor Sawyer is making an immense sensation in this 
minute community, which vegetates in superlative 
stagnation. His splendid appearance, force of char- 
acter, wit, brutal frankness, ability, and kind-hearted- 
ness make a great breeze, and I hear that his sayings 
and doings are the one topic. He has shown a great 
deal of good feeling in some very difficult circum- 
stances. I have only seen him once here for a few 
minutes to talk with ; but we are very good comrades, 
and I hope and believe that in the wonderful journey 
before us nothing will happen worse than a little 
friction, which will not affect the good-comradeship. 
I want to get all the good out of Drummond's booklet 
I before leaving. I have, then, no books but the Bible, 
| Brother Bartholomew, another R.C. book, and L Outre 
Manche, with a French grammar. 

Things at Baghdad are far worse than I wrote ; the 

fury of Islam is quenchless. Numbers have been 

| beaten, and the work among Mohammedans is prac- 

| tically at an end. Mrs. Sutton, Christlieb's daughter, 

I had gone to Basrah for a change, and came back as 

| soon as she heard of the danger. That's the sort of 

| wife for a missionary. The contrast between the de- 

| votion to Mahomet generally and the limited devotion 

to Christ is always very saddening. 

On April 30 the expedition to the Bakhtiari country 
i began. The terms of agreement were strict. Her 
I caravan was to be as much as possible independent 
of Major Sawyer's, only she had leave to camp within 
the ring of his sentries. She was well and full of 
anticipation. But the ride from Kirmanshah to Tihran 
had left its mark upon her. Her abundant dark hair 
j had grey streaks, and she was battered and bruised 
by various mishaps. Her preparations were none 
the less made without misgiving. Sacks of food for 
forty-five days were provided and sealed, and these 


contained many tins of preserved meat, milk, and 
jam, given to her by Sir Henry Drummond Wolff. 
She purchased tablets of soup, tea, candles, and 
saccharin herself. Rice and flour were to be had 
after seven days' march, and an empty packing-case 
was added to her baggage in which to store them. 
She bought presents for the mountaineers, and took 
with her a medicine chest equipped with essential 
remedies before she left England, and further fur- 
nished by Dr. Odling at Tihran with surgical 
instruments and quinine. Four baggage mules and 
a horse were engaged, their owner and his son going 
with them, and two servants, Hassan the cook and 
Mirza Yusuf the interpreter. 

It was on the whole a most satisfactory caravan, 
but " Screw," her new horse, never pleased her so 
much as the Arab " whose neck was clothed with 
thunder." Mr. Douglas and Miss Bruce rode three 
marches with her, to Pul-i-Wargun, to Rio, and to 
Chamini, where they left her on the frontier of the 
Bakhtiari country. The time assigned to this difficult 
expedition was more than doubled. Mrs. Bishop's 
vivid diary of the hundred days' adventures occupies 
about 400 pages of her book on Persia. Hardships 
marked the whole period. Her camp was daily 
invaded by diseased, wounded, infirm people men, 
women, and children. She ministered tirelessly to 
them all and acted as well in the capacity of vet. to the 
horses and mules. Again and again the men whom 
she benefited stole her provisions, her utensils, her 
personal comforts ; often her life was in great danger. 

Only one beautiful incident relieved the crass self- 
ishness of the mountain people. Major Sawyer 
halted for some days at a place called Chighakor, 
close to the Ilkhani's residence. Here, one of the 

1890] "THE HAKIM FOR US" 229 

minor chiefs, perhaps Kulla Khan, perhaps Ilbege 
Khan, came to her for medicine, which she gladly 
gave him. Lingering in her tent, he asked her why 
she ministered to people unknown to her, without 
demanding a recompense. This was her opportunity, 
and she told him, through Mirza Yusuf, the story of 
Christ, whose anxiety for the physical well-being of 
the people whom He had come spiritually to save, 
was so great that He spent His days in going from 
village to village to heal their disease and rescue 
them even from death. When he had heard all she 
tried to say, he looked at her with piteous entreaty in 
his eyes. " He is the Hakim for us," he said ; " send 
us such a one as He was." 

Major Sawyer's expedition ended at Burujird, and 
here on August 10 she was left to her own resources. 
These never failed her ; but just when she might have 
hoped for rest and comfort, all her tea, her provisions, 
and table equipments were stolen, and a few days 
later a charming Persian horse, which she bought to 
replace " Screw," was taken also, although after some 
days the thief was discovered and. "Boy" restored. 
Her mules and " Screw " returned to Isfahan with 
Hadji, their proprietor, and she was compelled to 
make up a new caravan for the long march westwards 
which she now proposed. 

All thought of returning to Julfa was dismissed, so 
severe and perilous had been the transit over the 
Bakhtiari mountains, and she decided to make her 
way by Hamadan, through Western Persia to Urmi 
and thence through Kurdistan and Armenia to 
Trebizond on the Black Sea. It was a march of a 
thousand miles, and she had just completed the rough 
ride from Julfa to Burujird, 700 miles of hardship. 
Before that she had ridden 800 miles from Baghdad 


to Isfahan, making 1,500 miles on saddle-mule, Arab 
horse, and Persian horse, and the remaining journey 
seemed light in comparison with what she had already 

But she knew little of the people amongst whom 
she was to travel and sojourn. She was in complete 
ignorance of the Armenian Question and its com- 
plications at that time, and she was on the whole 
attracted by the Kurds and prejudiced against the 

When Major Sawyer left Burujird to return to 
Isfahan, they bade each other good-bye as comrades 
who had gone through difficulty, danger, and privation 
together. Mrs. Bishop engaged mules and their 
charvadar, or proprietor, rode " Boy " herself and 
reached Ramadan, after ten marches, on August 26. 
Here she stayed nearly three weeks in the American 
Mission House, the first week occupied with a spinal 
collapse, through which she was ably nursed by 
Mrs. Alexander and Miss Montgomery. 

She was up and about again on September 2, and 
explored Hamadan and all the missionary work going 
on there. The city she found " ruinous, filthy, 
decayed, and unprosperous-looking," out of which 

No legerdemain can recreate the once magnificent 
Ecbatana, said by the early Greek writers to have 
been scarcely inferior to Babylon in size and 
splendour, with walls covered with plates of gold, 
and fortifications of enormous strength the capital 
of Arbaces after the fall of Nineveh, and the summer 
resort of the " Great King." 

She visited Esther's Tomb, and made inquiries as to 
the condition of the Jews in Hamadan, a pitiable con- 
dition only modified by the American missionaries 
who make these unfortunate people their especial care. 

1890] ROBBERS 231 

It was not till September 15 that Mrs. Bishop began 
the first stage of her march to Trebizond. She was 
unfortunate in her charvadar, from whom she agreed 
to take five mules for the march to Urmi, a distance of 
309 miles. He was a Turk and a bully, and refused 
to keep to the terms of his contract. Mirza Yusuf 
remained in her service and she engaged a young 
Armenian, who spoke both Persian and Turkish, to 
look after the commissariat. At the second halt, 
Kooltapa, she was ill and feverish, annoyed by 
Sharban, the charvadar, who forced her to travel 
along with a large caravan which he was sending to 
Urmi, and the noise of which was maddening. As 
she lay shivering with fever, she heard steps inside her 
tent. She sprang up, seized her revolver and fired 
blank cartridge several times in the direction which 
they took. Next morning she discovered that almost 
everything on which she depended for comfort, 
including much clothing and all her toilet apparatus, 
was gone. Sketches, notes of travel, pencils, and gold 
pen were amongst the spoil. She had to get native 
shoes and make herself a kind of turban to replace 
the cork helmet indispensable in the East. 

It was not till Sharban discovered that Mrs. Bishop 
bore letters to the Governors en route that he realised 
that this delicate, soft-voiced Feringhi could not be 
cheated, bullied, and maltreated with impunity. Then 
he was in a cowardly fright, implored mercy, and 
despatched the big caravan northwards by itself. At 
Bijar the Governor sent eight soldiers to mount 
guard round her tent, and this completed the taming 
of Sharban. 

The march was full of difficulties, and Mrs. Bishop 
was thankful to reach Urmi on October 7 and to 
rest there for a week, entertained by the missionaries 


medical, educational, and evangelistic of both 
Anglican and American churches. Urmi was an 
extended oasis of beauty and fertility compared with 
the barren mountain regions through which she had 
ridden for months. 

I know now pretty well what to expect in Persia 
[she wrote on the day of her arrival] ; not to look for 
surprises of beauty and luxuriance, and to be satisfied 
with occasional oases of cultivation among brown, 
rocky, treeless hills, varied by brown villages with 
crops and spindly poplars and willows, contrasting 
with the harsh barrenness of the surrounding gravelly 
waste but beautiful Urmi, far as the eye can reach, 
is one oasis. 

Mr. Laboree met her four miles from the American 
Presbyterian Mission House, to which he escorted 
her, and Dr. Shedd, Principal of the Urmi College, 
invited her to be his guest. She was placed in 
most favourable circumstances for making herself 
acquainted with missionary work in Urmi. There 
were four agencies the American Presbyterian, the 
Anglican, the French Lazarist, and the Medical 
Mission. Her observations and acquired information 
are admirably summed up in a chapter of " Notes," 
occupying pp. 221-34 of the second volume of her 
Journeys in Persia. 

Her health in Urmi was excellent, and she visited 
these communities repeatedly. But the season was 
late, so she replenished her stores and organised 
her next march through what remained of Persian 
Kurdistan, to be followed by a lengthy progress 
through Turkish Kurdistan to Van. She chartered 
a caravan and a set of Kurdish katirgis with horses 
for the baggage and her servants. The Kurds proved 
to be intolerable insolent, violent, disobedient, and 
mutinous ; but although she was warned at Urmi, 


and knew the hazard of committing herself to their 
escort, she had no alternative, and could only protect 
herself by engaging a Syrian priest as interpreter 
till she reached Van. At Urmi she came into contact 
with Christian Syrians or Nestorians. Some twenty 
thousand of these lived on the Urmi Plain, within 
the Persian frontier, and although they were quiet 
and industrious, she describes them as ignorant, super- 
stitious, untruthful, avaricious, and untrustworthy. 

She started from Urmi on October 14 with an 
encouraging " send-off," nearly the whole missionary 
and medical staff riding out to Anhar with her. She 
lade this her first halt, staying all night at the 
festorian pastor's house, and here her interpreter 
>ined the caravan. 

When all my kind friends left me [she wrote], and I 
ralked alone in the frosty twilight on the roof of my 
:omfortable room in the priest's house, and looked 
towards the wall of the frontier mountains through 
r hich my journey lay, I felt an unwonted elation at 
the prospect before me, which no possible perils from 
Kurds or from the sudden setting-in of winter could 
" imp, and thus far the interest is much greater even 
:han I expected. 

In the afflatus of this mood she had hardly crossed 
the frontier than she went to visit a famous political 

>rigand, Hesso Khan, of whom she gives a picturesque 
description. On the second day's march her katirgis 
threw down the loads and decamped ; but she got 
two others at a village on the frontier stream, and 
they went with her as far as Marbishu " rude, 

>rimitive, colourless, its dwellings like the poorest 
>w-sheds, clinging to mountain sides and spires of 
rock." It was, besides, desolated by marauding 

>rigands. The country was infested by the Kurds, 

'ho attacked its villages, insulted, robbed, and 


murdered the Nestorians, desecrated their churches, 
and harried their farms. She passed through several 
of these impoverished and terrorised villages on her 
way. No wonder that in the gloomy little church, 
walled as thickly as a fortress, and used as their 
refuge when attacked, the unhappy villagers of Mar- 
bishu chant daily the pathetic prayer : " Give us by 
Thy mercy a peaceful day. Scatter, O Lord, in the 
world love, peace, and unity. Raise up righteous 
kings, priests, and judges." 

On the very morning of her arrival Kurdish horse- 
men had stolen twenty sheep ; on its afternoon they 
returned for cattle. Armed guards were added to 
her caravan because she was a British subject, and 
some of the country people who were travelling 
besought her protection. 

Contact with these oppressed Syrian Christians 
worked a complete change in Mrs. Bishop's esti- 
mate of their national character. She had been as 
utterly ignorant as we all are concerning them, and 
she freely confessed her ignorance. Now to her 
open mind came the astonishing truth like a revela- 
tion. If the Nestorians of Urmi's fertile plain had 
degenerated in faith and character, these peasants 
in their mountain fastnesses, absolutely helpless and 
at the mercy of brutal marauders and of fiendish 
misgovernment, were daily faithful unto death, des- 
pising all things that belong to this life rather than 
betray Christ. It is wonderful that, martyred as 
they were, and that in a myriad ways more hideous 
than Pagan Rome ever invented, they never flinched 
and never denied their Saviour. She realised that- 
Through ages of accumulating wrongs and almost 
unrivalled misery, they, like us, have worshipped the 
crucified Nazarene as the crowned and risen Christ; 

,890] "WE PASS AWAY" 235 

that to Him, with us, they bend the adoring knee ; and 
that, like us, they lay their dead in consecrated ground 
to await through Him a joyful resurrection. 

Had they given way and accepted the creed of 
their Moslem oppressors, their threatened lives would 
probably have been spent in comparative peace, 
and the marvel is that they preferred Christ and 
martyrdom to Mahomet and security. It was in the 
villages of the plain of Gawar that the climax of 
this revolution in her opinion was reached. Some 
twenty Christian villages are on this plain, and from 
them fifteen thousand sheep had been driven off 
between June and October of that year. Mrs. Bishop 
halted for a week in Gawar, and lodged with these 
people in their houses, most of them built below the 
ground. Even during her stay houses were sur- 
rounded, men shot, women maltreated, and property 
burned or carried off. 

"The men of Government," they said, "are in 
partnership with the Kurds, and receive of their gains. 
This is our curse." 

In semi-darkness she was visited by some of the 
Christian priests and deacons, while she lived in a 
subterranean stable. They pleaded with her to send 
them teachers from England, lamenting the ignorance 
to which constant peril condemned them, and which 
hindered them from helping their poor peasant con- 
gregations fully to understand the great doctrines 
of Christianity. One of them, who represented others 
not present, said to her : " Beseech for a teacher to 
come and sit among us and lighten our darkness 
before we pass away as the morning shadows. We 
are blind guides, we know nothing, and our people 
are as sheep lost upon the mountains. When they 
go down into the darkness of their graves we know 


not how to give them any light, and so we all perish." 
She answered that England would find it difficult 
to raise funds for such an object. " England is very 
rich/' said the priest, who was himself destitute and 
in hourly danger. 

From that day in October, 1890, Mrs. Bishop's 
attitude towards Christian mission work was one 
of uncompromising and unflinching support. There 
had been a time when she would make a detour of 
twenty miles to avoid a mission station, being not 
only apathetic about its work, but in some degree 
averse to its interference with native creeds and 
its too frequent political indiscretion. Then had 
come the strong missionary influence of her husband 
and along with it a considerable weakening of her 
faith in churches as churches a weakening due to 
their own grotesque attitude as hostile institutions. 
But as ecclesiastical Christianity declined, the spirit 
of Christ increased in her, mellowing, sweetening, 
broadening, and inspiring her to a larger human 
tenderness for all, a wise tolerance of even bickering 
churches, a keen discernment of Christ in men, how- 
ever marred His image might be, and to a deep, instant, 
urgent yearning to bring the whole world to a know- 
ledge of Him. This development dated from the 
meeting in a dark stable-dwelling on Gawar Plain. 

There was now no remnant of respect left in her 
mind for the religions of the East, and she writes : 

Several of the Asiatic faiths, and notably Buddh- 
ism, started with noble conceptions and a morality 
far in advance of their age. But the good has been 
mainly lost out of them in their passage down the 
centuries, and Buddhism in China is now much on a 
level with the idolatries of barbarous nations. There 
is nothing to arrest the further downward descent of 
the systems so effete yet so powerful and interwoven 


with the whole social life of the nation. There is no 
resurrection power in any of them." 

While she was at Gahgoran, sleeping in a granary 
in the priest's house, she was wakened by muffled 
sounds. She rose, took her revolver, went into the 
passage and looked through the chinks of the outer 
door. A number of armed Kurds were in front, so 
she went back to the granary and fired several times 
to rouse the dogs and some strangers, who had 
come to meet Mar Shimun, the Nestorian Patriarch, 
and two bishops who were in the village on business. 
They rushed out and drove the Kurds away from 
the stable, where they were stealthily abstracting 
horses which belonged to the visitors. The Patriarch 
invited Mrs. Bishop to visit him at Kochanes, and 
on her way thither she met Mr. Browne, a member 
of the Anglican Mission at Urmi, who devoted himself 
to the Syrians of the mountains. The Bishop of 
Urmi was with her, and Mr. Browne turned back 
with his baggage mules to accompany them and to 
stay at Kochanes during the six days of her residence. 
He told her the sum of his four years' acquain- 
tance with these tortured Nestorians, information 
which proved to be of great value to her on her 
return to England. 

The Patriarch's sister installed her in a comfort- 
able room of his fortified house, its window looking 
across a ravine to wild, snow-crested mountains, 
whose flanks were covered with scrub oak, golden 
and russet. The place was almost a stronghold, so 
necessary was protection from the Kurds. 

Mar Shimun did not return from Gahgoran till 
the 24th, and Mrs. Bishop occupied the intervening 
days in sketching the church, with its engraved stones, 
visiting the patriarchs' tombs, and in making notes 


of her new and strange surroundings, whose graphic 
detail may be read in her book on Persia. As he 
is temporal ruler over the Ashirets, the Patriarch's 
castle was the scene of constant hospitality, bustle, 
coming and going, and there was much to record of 
the double life of Catholicus and chieftain. Mr. 
Browne interpreted for her, and she saw and heard 
enough to complete her evidence of the conditions 
under pressure of which the unhappy Nestorian 
Rayahs maintain their precarious existence and their 
inviolable fidelity to a church which once numbered 
twenty-five metro-political provinces and whose com- 
munion was larger than that of all Christendom 
outside its pale. 

Apostasy would be immediate emancipation from 
terror and ruin, but it is nearly unknown. Their 
churches are like catacombs. Few things can be more 
pathetic than a congregation standing in the dark 
and dismal nave, kissing the common wooden cross, 
and passing from hand to hand the kiss of peace, while 
the priest, in dress like their own, with girdle and stole 
of the poorest material, moves among the ancient 
liturgies in front of the dusty sanctuary, leading the 
worshippers in prayers and chants which have come 
down from the earliest ages of Christianity from the 
triumphant church of the East to the persecuted 
remnant of to-day. 

An escort of two zaptiehs was secured after some 
delay, a young Kurd undertook the care of her mules 
and baggage, and at last Mrs. Bishop closed what 
she considered the most wonderful visit she ever 
paid, and began her three days' march to Van, 
arriving in the darkness on October 31, and riding 
straight to the American Mission House, where 
Dr. Reynolds made her warmly welcome. 

Her Kurdish katirgi proved capable and cheerful, 

i89o] THE ARMENIANS 239 

although he occasionally tried to rob the Christian 
threshing-floors of corn for the horses and mules. 
She was now in Armenia. The roads were beset 
by Kurds, who twice attacked her caravan ; but the 
zaptiehs behaved pluckily, and when the robbers 
recognised their uniform they retreated. 

At Khanjarak she lodged in a subterranean stable 
with most of the village cattle goats, asses, and 
sheep, as well as her own horses, mules, servants, 
and escort. In one of the wretched Armenian hamlets 
through which she passed, a young Armenian, with 
whom she spoke about the faith, said to her, " We 
don't know much, but we love the Lord Jesus well 
enough to die for Him." 

Here, amongst the Armenians, she realised again 
what the horrors of this infamous persecution meant 
for a timid, defenceless people, less manly than the 
Nestorian Rayahs, in many ways less lovable, but 
like them, " faithful unto death." During the night, 
at Khanjarak, twenty-three sheep were driven off by 
armed Kurds. 

Mrs. Bishop thought favourably of the Turkish 
peasants. They lived peaceably with their Armenian 
neighbours ; it was the Kurd who maltreated these, 
although their murders, robberies, and outrages were 
winked at, if not absolutely encouraged, by the 
Sublime Porte, which could easily have protected 
its unhappy subjects. 

In Van she found a different order of Armenians- 
industrious, shrewd, commercially capable. They form 
an important factor in the prosperity of the city, and 
show considerable public spirit and interest in educa- 
tion. Mrs. Bishop was relieved to reach at last a 
city well furnished with shops, where she could re- 
place her many losses and buy warm winter clothing. 


She got into trouble because her servants had not 
complied with all the Turkish travelling formalities, 
and Johannes was arrested. But Mr. Devey, the 
British Vice-consul, arranged the affair, and she sent 
Johannes back to Ramadan, and engaged an excellent 
servant in his place, a Turk by birth, an Irishman 
by parentage, called Murphy O'Rourke, who spoke 
English, Turkish, and Armenian equally well. During 
her four days' halt at Van she gave two addresses, 
one at the American Church, the other at the Girls' 

On November 5 she set out for Erzeroum, sixteen 
days' journey, four of them, however, occupied with 
a halt at Bitlis. The ride to Bitlis was beautiful, 
and Dr. Reynolds went with her the whole way. 
She took the more difficult route, sending the caravan 
round by the northern shore of Lake Van. The way 
was replete with interest glorious mountains, the 
lovely lake, monasteries, castles, vestiges of the old 
Armenian splendour, the beautiful village of Ghazit, 
shelter-khans, the infant Tigris, the wild and stony 
valley which led down to Bitlis, a spot associated 
with the days of Alexander the Great, and now one 
of the most active commercial centres of Asiatic 
Turkey. Here Mr. and Mrs. Knapp, of the American 
Mission, were her hosts. She stayed with them five 
days, and gave three addresses during that time- 
one at Miss Ely's girls' school, with which she was 
delighted. To the women she spoke on their own 
sad refrain, "We are only women," pointing out 
what women can be and do. 

Dr. Reynolds engaged katirgis and a zaptieh 
escort for her, and she left Bitlis on Thursdayl 
November 13, two of the missionaries accompanying 
her for an hour. The weather was now very cold, 

i89o] ATTACK BY KURDS 241 

and she made long marches. At night she was 
exhausted and generally slept in her tent, for the 
atmosphere of the khans was fetid, and a guard 
had to be set against marauders. Her route was 
almost due north, within the water-shed of the 
Euphrates, and she forded the Murad-chai, one of 
its tributaries. 

By this time she was very ill; heavy rain began 
to fall, and the marches grew more painful and 
hazardous. Once a band of mounted brigands 
shadowed the caravan, but retreated on seeing the 
zaptieh uniform. Fortunately Mirza, Murphy, and 
the soldiers were very attentive and serviceable. 
She had the gift of attaching her servants to her, 
of whatever race or creed they might be, and these 
men helped her through difficulties and dangers with 
cheerfulness and devotion. There were strained 
relations between the charvadar and Mirza, as the 
former, who loved fun and was a mimic, grew 
impatient with Mirza's gentle and sentimental ways. 
On the fifth day's march they encountered a terrible 
blizzard on Ghazloo Pass, which forced her to shorten 
the day's ride and take shelter in a horrible khan, 
outside of which her tent was pitched and was 
attacked by Kurdish robbers. Her own servants 
were worn out and she had engaged Kurdish watchmen 
to guard her. They sprang on the robbers, beat 
down two of them and drove the rest away. 

All along the route her eyes witnessed Kurdish 
depredations, and she wrote : 

I have myself seen enough to convince me that in 
the main the statements of the people represent 
accurately enough the present reign of terror in 
Armenia, and that a state of matters nearly approaching 
anarchy is now existing in the Vilayet of Erzeroum. 



It took her eight days to reach Erzeroum from 
Bitlis. She reached the city on Friday, November 21, 
after a five hours' march through deep snow, and 
was hospitably housed at the American Mission 
House. Here she rested for ten days, during which 
time she made herself fully acquainted with what 
were called the " Erzeroum troubles." Mr. Hampson, 
acting in the Consul's absence, the French Consul, 
and others gave her particulars. Murphy disappeared 
with " Boy," but after a few days both were discovered 
in a low quarter of the town, the Turco-Irishman 
quite drunk, She was photographed at Erzeroum, 
sitting on her beloved horse with Mirza and Murphy 
in attendance. 

December 2 was the date of her start on the final 
stage of this adventurous caravan journey, which 
had begun at Burujird on August 9 and ended at 
Trebizond on December 12 four months of most 
dangerous travelling. But with her quiet persistence, 
her unflinching courage, her power of command, 
her independence of luxury, her superb digestion 
which conquered strange food and endured its lack, 
and her splendid riding, she surmounted every 
obstacle, passed almost scatheless through every 
jeopardy, observed, recorded, and stored all that 
interested her and gained every object attainable by 
the enterprise. 

But for snow, ice, and wind the march from 
Erzeroum to Trebizond would have been delightful, 
and at all events it was neither lonely nor dangerous, 
for the high road was crowded with travellers and 
their caravans. But the icy descents were perilous 
and she often dismounted and walked to spare " Boy." 
The last and worst of these descents brought her 
to the lovely valley of the Surmel, with its homesteads, 


orchards, natural forests and rushing water, and 
she left for ever " the bleak mountains and poverty- 
stricken plateaux ravaged by the Kurd," after a ride 
of 2,500 miles from Baghdad, through Persia, Kurdistan, 
and Armenia. 

One day was spent at Trebizond, and then she 
bade Mirza and Murphy good-bye, and embarked 
on the s.s. Douro for Constantinople, where she 
spent four busy days, taking the Orient Express on 
December 22, reaching Paris on Christmas Day, 
and on December 26 finding herself in London at 
6 a.m. She went to breakfast with Mr. and Mrs. 
Murray, lunched with Sir Alfred and Lady Lyall, 
stayed all night at the Euston Hotel, and travelled 
next day to Edinburgh, where Professor and Mrs. 
Grainger Stewart welcomed her to their house in 
Charlotte Square. 



ON New Year's Day, 1891, Mrs. Bishop went to Mull 
for a glimpse at the only spot on earth which she could 
now call home ; but she did little more than alight and 
leave, returning to Edinburgh on January 3 to spend 
two days with Professor and Mrs. Blackie. She left 
for London on the 7th, stopping at Huntingdon on the 
way. On the 8th she wrote to Mrs. Macdonald : 

The Ouse was hard frozen at Houghton ; I went 
to see Mrs. Brown, and the two girls skated and Percy 
pushed me four miles on a chair sled at the rate of 
1 6 miles an hour! Thirty-five years ago I used to 
skate with numbers of the village folk on that river, 
and now all but myself and one other are in eternity. 

One object of her journey to London was to arrange 
with Mr. Murray about her book on Persia, one of the 
most difficult and certainly one of the most valuable 
books she ever wrote. Its difficulty was due to her 
repeated losses of notes, diary-letters, and sketches 
from robberies at Baghdad, Julfa, and in Turkish 
Kurdistan. A certain number of the diary-letters 
reached Miss Clayton safely and were locked away. 
But besides straining her memory, Mrs. Bishop had to 
consult books of reference and to secure correction 
of her statements from many residents in the countries 
traversed. Fortunately she rarely omitted to set 
down some lines of travel in her pocket-diary, so 



that the names and dates of her stages and the main 
incidents of her long rides were preserved. The 
library of the Royal Geographical Society was of 
especial use to her. But except for visits to Mr. 
Murray, and for some very necessary shopping, she 
spent most of her time in London in rest and quiet 
preparation for the hard task before her. 

Miss Clayton and her friends were in Bournemouth, 
and nowhere could she begin it so well as with them. 
On January 24 she joined them at Garthlands. But 
a great shock awaited her there. Miss Clayton had 
fallen down a steep flight of stairs backwards, and 
was suffering from concussion of the brain and spine, 
and for three months she was scarcely able to sit up. 
At the end of April Mrs. Bishop wrote : 

She is now able to drive and to totter about a little, 
but is so frail and aged, and so deaf. Alas ! the 
shadow cannot return upon the dial, and she will 
never be the same again, will never help and advise 
and be leant on. You [Mrs. Macdiarmid], who 
know what she was to me during a long course of 
years, can realise how very sad it is. 

This blow seems to have flung her back into the 
desolation of former bereavements, but she had the 
solace of hard work, and was busy reading over her 
diary-letters on January 26, and began her Journeys in 
Persia on the following day. She worked at the 
book steadily for three months, varying her toil with 
occasional missionary addresses. In a letter to Miss 
Macdonald, dated February 28, she says : 

I am frightfully busy. I have literally no time. I 
make no visits, don't read or work, and only go 
out for exercise. I find plenty of opportunity for 
addressing small meetings ana working parties on 
the subject of missions, and this I am very thankful for, 


Then on March 26 she wrote to the same corre- 
spondent : 

I am fearfully busy. I have to speak at twenty 
missionary meetings in May and June, and to do a 
great deal of literary work besides my book. 

This extra literary work was in connection with 
what she had seen of the persecutions of Christians 
in Asiatic Turkey, and part of it consisted of two 
forceful and impressive articles in The Contemporary 
Review for May and June, called "The Shadow of 
the Kurd," which were widely read. They made 
indeed some stir, for they were the actual experience 
of an onlooker. During April she went several times 
to London to deliver addresses at the Moravian 
Missionary Meeting, to speak at Harley House, and 
on the 2ist to dine with Mr. Murray for the purpose 
of meeting Mr. Gladstone. The great statesman 
took her down to dinner and questioned her keenly 
about the Kurdish atrocities amongst Nestorians and 
Armenians. After answering him with all possible 
detail, she turned the tables by saying, " Now, 
Mr. Gladstone, you have asked me a great many 
questions, and I have done my best to answer them ; 
may I venture to ask you one?" "Certainly," he 
said. "Then, what was the Nestorian heresy?" 
"Ah," said he, laying down his knife and fork and 
wheeling round in his chair, " that is a matter in 
which I am profoundly interested." And he entered 
on a long, learned, and precise exposition of the 
heresy, quoting historians, fathers of the Church, 
modern critics, without pause or failure of memory, 
and at the end of half an hour left her not only 
amazed at his vast and accurate knowledge, but 
conversant with the whole schism. 

1891] COMMITTEE-ROOM No. 15 247 

On the 8th began the May meetings to so many of 
which she was pledged medical mission, Quaker 
meetings, some in the Lower Exeter Hall, others at 
Harley House and at various Church Halls. 

Her articles in The Contemporary Review had roused 
in the minds of Mr. Bryce, Mr. Caine, and other 
members of Parliament a strong desire to hear from 
her further particulars of the atrocities in Turkish 
Kurdistan, and some of these gentlemen urged her to 
give an address in one of the committee-rooms of the 
House of Commons upon points raised by the accounts 
coming daily from the East. Men's minds were 
agitated by the inrush of Armenians, who had fled 
from their towns and villages and were seeking 
refuge in this country. Real knowledge of the 
situation was essential, and her articles indicated 
acquaintance with its every aspect, and with details 
to which she could not yet give the publicity of print. 

At first she was averse to taking so unusual and 
formidable a step ; but when she realised that she 
could give practical help in dealing with this terrible 
problem, her scruples disappeared. The meeting was 
held on June 18 in Committee-room No. 15, an historical 
spot. She declined to give a continuous address, on 
the ground that by so doing she might omit what her 
audience particularly desired to know ; but expressed 
her readiness to answer questions at length. The 
room was filled by members of both Houses, some of 
their wives being present as well, and when she faced 
them a great wave of nervousness threatened to in- 
capacitate her altogether. But she subdued it, and 
was occupied from 5 to 6.30 in explaining as clearly 
as possible the relations and condition of the various 
peoples subject to the Sublime Porte, and the de- 
fenceless position of Syrians and Armenians. 


The impression made upon her hearers by her 
gentle voice, dignity of bearing, modesty, and clearness 
of statement is not yet forgotten. This afternoon was 
perhaps the most remarkable she ever spent in public 
work, and it had been prefaced by exceptional ner- 
vousness. She was relieved to escape from its tension 
to the Terrace, where she had tea with her friends 
in the House of Commons, after which the group 
was photographed. 

The only allusion to this incident in her corre- 
spondence is contained in a letter to Mrs. Grainger 
Stewart, written prior to its occurrence : 

I am writing six hours a day, and besides that have 
had a great deal to do lately in preparing some state- 
ments for a subject connected with foreign politics ! 
which has introduced me to a number of interesting 
acquaintances. I am most thankful for all new interests 
out of myself, for I feel that without them my sorrow- 
ful solitude would be greater than I can bear. 

It is mentioned in her diary without comment, except 
as to her great nervousness. 

All this time her evenings up to midnight and 
her mornings were devoted to her book, to which 
she had returned when her articles for The Contem- 
porary were finished. But she was well enough to 
lunch out a good deal, and just before her appearance 
in Committee-room No. 15 she paid a week's visit to 
Sir Alfred and Lady Lyall at Queen's Gate. Major 
Sawyer was in town, and she saw him several times, 
and attended some meetings of the Royal Geographical 

Her numerous engagements interrupted the steady 
progress of her book, and brought on an attack of 
sleeplessness, the worst she had had for years, and 
this was accompanied by intermittent fever. In 


spite of her lectures and addresses she usually wrote 
six hours a day, and when there was no outside 
evening work she sometimes wrote for nine hours out 
of the twenty-four. By the middle of June she had 
spoken at seventeen meetings, and nine are set down 
in her diary for the four weeks following that date. 

It was late in July before proofs of the first volume 
of her Persian book began to arrive for correction. 
She was then in lodgings at 117 Adelaide Road, and 
paid many visits to the Royal Geographical Society's 
library and to the War Office. One to Mr. Curzon 
is recorded on July 27. She took all possible pains 
to ensure the accuracy of her book. 

There was that feverish restlessness in her move- 
ments which characterised them when she was doing 
too much and which often preceded collapse. It was 
partly due to the cessation from movement, surprise, 
adventure, all the interests of travel, and partly to her 
apprehension of bodily and mental torpor. But she 
found the vortex into which she was drawn as a 
celebrated traveller, authoress, and missionary advo- 
cate far less attractive than the perilous wilds of 
Luristan and Kurdistan, and said to me one day 
that summer, "Oh to be beyond the pale once 
more, out of civilisation into savagery ! Anna, I 
abhor civilisation ! " 

It was a relief to get away from town on August 11, 
and, after a peaceful week at Houghton, to go to 
Cardiff for the meeting of the British Association, 
under Sir William Huggins's presidency. She lectured 
on Tuesday, the 25th, in section E that devoted to 
geographical matters on " The Upper Karun Region 
and the Bakhtiari Lurs." It was the first time that 
she had addressed members of the British Association, 
and the first time that she gave this remarkable 


lecture asked for again and again by learned societies 
in England and Scotland. It was listened to with 
breathless interest, for few Englishmen had taken 
the route through Luristan, and of these none had 
traversed it from Julfa to Burujird as she and Major 
Sawyer did, nor had any of the former travellers in 
Persia, except Sir Henry Layard and Sir Henry 
Rawlinson, brought to the journey such skilled 
observation and such power of literary description 
as Mrs. Bishop had done. Schooled by this time in 
public speaking, she lectured with great charm of 
manner and voice ; and, added to her real and amazing 
knowledge of every subject which she handled, she 
had the art of presenting what she knew in such 
language as to secure absorbed listening. Even she, 
too often a prey to self-distrust, felt that her address 
was a success, and modestly recorded the fact in her 
diary on the day of its delivery. 

In the Report of the British Association's meeting 
at Cardiff (August, 1891) it is mentioned that on 
Tuesday, the 2$th, 

There were several papers dealing with original 
exploration, and of these Mrs. Bishop's account 01 the 
Bakhtiari country was by far the most important. 
Mrs. Bishop spoke for the greater part of an hour 
merely from notes, but without the slightest hesitation. 
Her subject-matter and its manner of treatment were, 
in her hands, a model of excellence. 

She returned for a few days to town, where she 
received the distressing news that the first "John 
Bishop Memorial Hospital" at Srinagar had been 
entirely wrecked by a desolating flood in July. 

When she left London she had completed two-thirds 
of her work on Persia, and was occupied with 
choosing and arranging its illustrations. She was 

,891] HARD WORK 251 

still spending every spare hour upon the manuscript, 
which she studiously revised, and on one of the few 
days left to her in town she took it to Mr. Murray. 

How hard she was working all September is 
evidenced by her letters to Mr. Murray, who was 
greatly interested in the book. One written on Sep- 
tember 13, from Ford Hall, is occupied with details 
concerning the map of the Bakhtiari country and her 
route, which was prepared for the end of the second 
volume with considerable difficulty, partly from the 
survey-map made by Major Sawyer, who advised her 
to adopt the spelling of the geographical report 
"every surveying officer," she wrote, "seems to spell 
the names differently," and partly from a sketch-map 
made by herself. 

A little later she tells Mr. Murray that she went 
down to Clark's and rescued the revises, which she 
altered according to his suggestions. 

They are truly valuable, and make me much ashamed 
of my want of perspicacity. The original letters were 
invariably written when I was greatly fatigued, and 
my re-writing has been done under great pressure. 

The map gave her great trouble, and she had to 
consult the head of the Indian Government Survey 
as to how she could use it, add names to it, and 
improve it for general use. As a result of this cor- 
respondence she was only allowed to use it as it 
stood, since the insertion of names and passes was 
politically indiscreet. 

On October 22 she wrote to Mr. Murray (the 
present John Murray) from Tobermory : 

The proof which you return is the end of the second 
volume. Your corrections have been an education in 
grammar and style, which will not be thrown away. 


Just a week earlier she had finished the manuscript 
and recorded it in her diary with a " Thank God ! " 
of relief. 

On the i9th, having revised and corrected most 
of her proofs, she went to Tobermory, taking Miss 
Cullen (whose father had recently died) with her, 
having undertaken to lecture to the members of the 
Royal Scottish Geographical Society in Edinburgh 
on November 12, and at Glasgow on the i3th. The 
expansion of her address prepared for the British 
Association on the " Bakhtiari Lurs " into a less 
exclusively scientific form occupied her till Novem- 
ber 10. Miss Cullen went home on the 2nd, and 
Mrs. Bishop followed her on the nth. Her lecture 
was given the next evening in the Free Assembly 
Hall, where the anniversary meeting of the society 
was held. General Sir Robert Murdoch Smith, who 
had himself been twenty-four years resident in Persia, 
presided, and he testified to the accuracy of her 
descriptions as one thoroughly conversant with the 
country. The audience was " enormous and sympa- 
thetic." Next day she repeated the lecture at the 
inaugural meeting of the Glasgow branch. 

The R.S.G.S. conferred on her the rare distinction 
of fellowship, and in a letter to Mr. Murray she 
wrote, " I am grateful for the innovation they have 
made in recognising a woman's work." 

By this time her forthcoming Journeys in Persia 
and Kurdistan was announced, and she was finishing 
its preface, glossary, and itineraries. Mr. Curzon, 
whose book was also in the press, had been most 
kind and helpful, giving her distances and names; 
but her proofs were delayed for items of exact mileage 
between the stages of her journey through Kurdistan. 
On the last day of November the task was definitely 


completed, but by this time nervous collapse and 
rheumatism had seized her, and she made up her 
mind that the book would be a failure. She stayed 
on in Tobermory, although the weather was at its 
wintriest " wan wastes of snow, and a gale which, 
with few and brief lulls, is continuous." 

Journeys in Persia and Kurdistan was published 
at Christmas, 1891. Just at the time a tremendous 
storm stopped the mails, and her letter of thanks for 
the two beautiful volumes sent to her before the 
day of publication was delayed five days. 

We have not had a gleam of sunshine for seventeen 
days, and the unsunned and sodden snow has a most 
depressing and ghastly effect. I feel the damp chilli- 
ness of this Mull climate very much after two years in 
dry regions, and shall not be able to stay here so long 
as I proposed. 

She was able, however, to give a lecture in Tober- 
mory on the evening of December 23, which lasted 
almost two hours. It was on " Persian Manners 
and Customs," and was illustrated by two of the 
Y.W.C.A. members, who wore costumes which she 
had brought from Isfahan. 

For three weeks of January she was busy with 
all the interests of The Cottage and her neighbours. 
She was known by her friends as the "Stormy 
Petrel," from her preference of weather in its worst 
moods when she went her rounds. Perhaps the howl 
and wail of the storm round The Cottage drove 
her out. 

About the middle of January half of the inhabitants 
of Tobermory were seized with influenza. It reached 
The Cottage, and first her housekeeper and then 
Mrs. Bishop herself succumbed. She was in bed 
for three weeks as pneumonia followed the fever 


admirably nursed by Miss Macdonald, and the long 
weakness incident to convalescence delayed her de- 
parture. Fortunately, lovely weather followed in 
February, but she was saddened by many deaths. 
A very interesting letter belongs to the week before 
she fell ill. It was written to Lady Middleton on 
January 13, 1892 : 

Life cannot spare you : its claims, duties, and in- 
terests multiply as the years go by, and you are and 
can be a power for good. Heartlessness and malice 
have done their worst if they benumb your vitality 
and make you a cypher. But this cannot be, and you 
will revive. My mind, dwelling so much in solitude 
and away from the bustle at once sordid and trivial 
which passes for life, is very full of thoughts, some of 
which, if I were speaking and not writing, I should 
like to communicate to you. One very present and 
stimulating thought is that we have lived into a new 
era, and that whether we like it or not (and I don't like 
it, and think the old was better), if we are to be of any 
use, we must cease sighing over the past and throw 
ourselves as heartily as may be into those currents of 
the new life and age which are surging around us. I 
see so many people who were useful under the old 
circumstances, to whom the uprising of the democracy 
in politics, of an aristocracy of mere wealth in society, 
and of criticisms which threaten to remove the old 
landmarks in religion are so intensely painful and 
repulsive that they retire from the whirl and strife 
altogether, and sit moaning with folded hands over an 
order of things which can never be resuscitated. 

For myself, my sorrows have taken away all 
personal interest in life I have nothing any more to 
nope for, nothing to dread except infirmities of mind 
and body, nothing to wish for, no ambitions, no personal 
projects. The last three years of ceaseless activities 
and latterly of more or less of public life have been 
very strange to me. Beloved memories, noble examples, 
stimulating words of those whom I have lost are always 
goading me onwards and upwards. I feel that I must 
make the best of myself, I must bear an active part in 
life, I must follow their examples to be worthy of ever 


meeting them again, which is my one personal hope. 
And thus with a ceaseless ache at my heart, and without 
a shadow of enjoyment in anything, I respond to every 
call to action, and my life though very sad is very full, 
and though I cannot enjoy I am intensely interested. 
For this I thank God. 

I wonder if it is any comfort to you to know 
that from my heart, and for reasons which at the time 
and now appear to be conclusive, I believe your 
brother absolutely guiltless of what was imputed to 
him. For you to know him to be the victim of an 
injustice which has robbed him of all he valued most, 
and which afflicts him through his remaining life, must 
be a bitterness to which the mourning for vanished 
lives is not comparable. 

My book, which I may truly call my work, is out, 
and, though I thought it marked a manifest falling 
off in descriptive style, the reviews so far have been 
kind to it. I hope it will sell, as I want money. The 
Women's Hospital of sixty beds with a Dispensary 
attached, which I built in Kashmir as a memorial to 
my husband, was totally destroyed by a flood on 
July 21, a heavy blow to me, and I now want to make 
money to rebuild it in a safer place. 

On March 5 she left Tobermory for Edinburgh and 
stayed first with Professor and Mrs. Blackie. 

Sir Robert Murdoch Smith had reviewed her 
Journeys in Persia and Kurdistan for the March number 
of The Scottish Geographical Magazine, and his judg- 
ment of the value and accuracy of her statements 
gave her great encouragement. 

Much has been expected [he said] from her facile and 
graphic pen, and we may at once say that those 
expectations are not disappointed. . . . The picture 
drawn of the toilsome struggles of the laden mules 
through the deep snow drifts, and of the sufferings 
of man and beast from the intense cold of the icy blasts 
that sweep over these uplands, however exaggerated 
they may seem to those " who stay at home at ease," are 
true and exact as photographs. 


He gives in this paper a most interesting aper$u 
of the change effected in Persia between 1863 and 
1885, but for the purpose of this biography his 
endorsement of her fidelity to truth is its important 

Her stay in Edinburgh had another object besides 
the pleasure of being with old friends. Miss Cullen 
thought of taking a house in Morningside, and pro- 
posed that Mrs. Bishop should furnish a couple of 
rooms in it, so as to have a pied-a-terre, when she 
came to Edinburgh. 

In 1892 [writes Miss Cullen] she greatly longed for 
a home ; I asked her if I took a large enough house 
would she join me. She was delighted with the 
arrangement, and we began a partnership at 41 
Morningside Park at the end of that year, which 
continued till May, 1897. It was rather a farce, for she 
did not live in the house more than eighteen weeks. 
She was away three years, but her two rooms were 
kept for her. 

This arrangement was fixed in the spring of 1892, 
and then Mrs. Bishop left for Birdsall House on 
March 15. She had prepared Lady Middleton for 
a considerable change in her appearance : 

I have become a very elderly indeed I may say an 
old woman and stout ! My hair will not turn grey, and 
thus I am deprived of the softening and almost re- 
novating influence which silver hair exercises on 
a plain race. I still wear deep mourning, but not a cap 
of any kind. Mentally I think and hope that I am 
more sympathetic, and that my interests outside of 
myself are larger and wider, but probably this does not 
appear, as my manner is quieter than ever. I have 
written this much to prepare you for a " little soul " in 
a big body. 

The visit was a very happy one, in spite of her 
sorrowful memory of the last long stay at Birdsall, 


when her husband was with her. It was soothed 
by the love and consideration which she received 
from Lord and Lady Middleton, and by their frequent 
appreciative reference to Dr. Bishop. 

She had to "prate at a drawing-room meeting at 
York on March 19, when the Dean, assisted by Lord 
Forester, an old friend of my father, will preside." 
It was most successful a crowded hall, the whole 
audience " cheery-looking and enthusiastic." Hear 
subject was medical missions, and the immediate 
collection was 40, followed by 56, as an aftermath. 
Other results were the formation of a local association 
for supporting medical missions, and a request that 
she should return in June to give an address of the 
same character at the Church Congress for the 
dioceses of York, Ripon, and Wakefield. Two more 
petitions for missionary addresses were due to this 
York meeting, and indeed there stretched before her 
a long vista of such engagements. She wrote to 
Miss Macdonald a fortnight later : 

I hoped to have rested entirely in April, but have 
not been able to refuse to give two addresses one at 
Southampton on the i3th and one at Portsmouth on 
the i Qth. I used often to think when I was abroad 
that if I lived to return I might possibly interest some 
people in missions outside the usual circles ; but never 
dreamed that so great and public a work would grow 
out of it. 

Visits to Houghton and Southampton followed. 

I spent three days at Southampton at Canon Wil- 
berforce's [she wrote], a singularly curious and inter- 
esting time ; but far too exacting and tiring for me, as 
I am still very weak. 

Then she went to Bournemouth and stayed with 



Miss Clayton ail April, except for brief absences 
connected with her addresses. 

On April 2 she had news which greatly distressed 

You will be sorry to hear [she wrote] that I have 
lost one of my oldest and most valued friends, Mr. 
Murray, my publisher, to whose unwearied kindness 
and constant consideration for nearly forty years I 
owe very much. I feel his death very deeply. 

Tuesday, April 19, was Professor and Mrs. Blackie's 
golden wedding day, and Mrs. Bishop's letter to them 
is characteristic of her deep affection and loyalty to 
the friends of so many years. 

As my little gifts [she wrote on Easter Day] will be 
overlooked in the array of your beautiful presents, so 
my loving words may hardly be heard among the warm 
and hearty congratulations which will be yours on 
Tuesday ; but I know that my loved and faithful friend 
will neither be blind to the one nor deaf to the other. 
May God bless you and give you better health, that 
your dear self may shine out as all who love you 
desire. May you have great peace, and may the calm, 
mellow light of a sunlit evening stream on your path. 
May you have yet some years together, and in the 
end, though death must divide, may death unite. All 
blessings are gathered up in the few words : " The 
peace of God which passeth understanding keep your 
heart and mind in the love of God " and this is 
my wish for your golden wedding day. It is not a 
time of prospect, but of retrospect, and I hope that 
your self-depreciatory nature will not prevent you 
from thankfully looking back upon the long years of 
wifely love and loyalty and unwearied helpfulness, 
of domestic comfort, calm, ripe, and tasteful criticism, 
of intellectual help and rare womanly influence which 
you have given to the Professor, and on the loyalty, 
love, and trust which he has given you. I wish I 
could see you both on Tuesday surrounded by friends 
and offerings. 


On May 4 she left Bournemouth for London, where 
she stayed at rooms in Adelaide Road, partly furnished 
by herself. Missionary and geographical addresses 
absorbed her time and attention. 

Many pleasant social engagements also belonged 
to May, and the same kind of various activity 
signalised June. On the 9th she was in York, 
fulfilling her engagement at the conference there. 

But two matters belong to June worth recording. 
One was a course of lessons in photography which 
she took from Mr. Howard Farmer at the Regent 
Street Polytechnic, and which she renewed every 
time she was in London. There had been great 
difficulty in getting illustrations for her Journeys in 
Persia due to frequent loss of her sketches, and she 
did not in any case account these of artistic value. 
Photography was not only a new and very real 
interest for her, but promised to be helpful in future 
journeys amongst new races and regions. 

The second matter was connected with her health, 
which had given her cause for uneasiness since she had 
influenza in February. She consulted Dr. Davies in 
London and wrote on the subject to Mrs. Macdonald : 

My health failed in the summer and it was with the 
greatest difficulty that I kept my engagements. At 
last some symptoms that I knew were serious came 
on and I had good medical advice. I was then told 
that I have fatty and calcareous degeneration of the 

The malady was not surprising after the tremendous 
and continuous strain of 1889 and 1890. But its 
discovery suggests a question often put as to her 
physical feebleness at home and her extraordinary 
strength and endurance while travelling. This 
question can best be answered by quoting from 


an article which appeared in The Edinburgh Medical 
Journal after her death in 1904, and which was 
written by one of the most skilful physicians in 
Edinburgh : 

To the lay mind (i.e. the mind untrained in 
physiological science) Mrs. Bishop was indeed, if 
not a mass of physical contradictions, yet very much 
of a paradox. It was difficult for it to comprehend 
how a woman who in the quiet of her home life 
seemed so fragile, sensitive, and dependent could 
possibly submit to, or even, survive, the experiences 
of her multitudinous travels. The invalid at home 
and the Samson abroad do not form a very usual 
combination, yet in her case these two ran in tandem 
for many years. Mrs. Bishop was indeed one of those 
subjects who are dependent to the last degree upon 
their environment to bring out their possibilities. 
It is not a question of dual personality, it is the varied 
response of a single personality under varied condi- 
tions. Of course the response can only be maintained 
in an active environment, when there is a large store- 
house of energy behind it all, for no woman can 
travel some 2,400 miles through a wild and untamed 
country without having a basis of strength of an 
unusual kind. . . . When she took the stage as 
pioneer and traveller, she laughed at fatigue, she 
was indifferent to the terrors of danger, she was 
careless of what a day might bring forth in the 
matter of food : but stepping from the boards into 
the wings of life, she immediately became the invalid, 
the timorous, delicate, gentle-voiced woman that we 
associate with the Mrs. Bishop of Edinburgh. 

In this there is true insight, but one or two facts 
may render the complex nature less puzzling to the 
ordinary mind. Physicians have learned to use a 
magnanimity which might teach us "a more excellent 
way " if we could follow their example. There was 
a great reserve of endurance in Mrs. Bishop, and this 
was due to her splendid digestion. In spite of the 
serious ailments which exhausted her constitution, 



her appetite and her power to assimilate large quan- 
tities of food healthily never failed. Her husband 
would rally her on this, and once said laughingly 
to me, " Isabella has the appetite of a tiger and 
the digestion of an ostrich." She could go for days 
with little more than a bowlful of rice and a handful of 
dates or raisins ; but when substantial food was to 
be had, she availed herself amply of the opportunity. 
Indeed, she called herself "a savage in the matter 
of food." Nor does it ever seem that she suffered 
from either scanty or generous fare. She would 
complain in jest that her hosts pressed her to eat 
cake because it was simple and could not hurt 
her, when what she wanted was the richest and 
heaviest on the table. This healthy appetite must 
have strengthened her muscular frame, which made 
up for her feeble spine. 

Besides, she really suffered overwhelming fatigue 
and frequently broke down during her journeys but 
she had learned exactly what to do and was seldom 
hindered in doing it. Her muscular strength and 
her immense spirit combined against all obstacles, 
when the undertaking interested and inspired her. 
In her childhood all the doctors consulted by her 
parents had advised open-air life, riding, change of 
scene, so these must have been obviously remedial, 
long before they developed in her the passion for 
travelling which made her famous. 

At home there was neither the vivifying mountain 
air which invigorated her, nor was there daily novelty 
to seize and hold her mind. Although she liked many 
people, too many others sought and bored her ; she 
was generally occupied with hard intellectual work, 
which needed seclusion and a sedentary life; the 
minor worries of housekeeping assailed and depressed 


her, while danger and difficulty appealed to her 
marvellous self-control and resource ; and physical 
inaction was apt to become a habit when life grew 
unexciting and duty ceased to exact effort and self- 

She saw Dr. Davies several times, and he enjoined 
immediate rest and the withdrawal from as many as 
possible of her public engagements for July. Nowhere 
could the former be so well assured as at Houghton, 
so she left town on June 22 and spent three peaceful 
weeks with Mrs. Brown at The Elms, where one 
quiet day succeeded another, many hours were spent 
on the river, old friends were visited, old associations 
renewed. After a fortnight she felt so much better 
that she began to write up her notes of Western 
Tibet and to bring them into literary form. After 
another week of rest, she went to Willing Park near 
Bridgnorth, where she addressed a meeting for sixty- 
five minutes, and on the following day spoke for an 
hour and a quarter at a meeting held at Coalbrook- 

The British Association meetings were held at 
Edinburgh in 1892, early in August, and she went 
north on the ist to attend them. They were inaugu- 
rated by Sir Archibald Geikie, President for the 
year, and Mrs. Bishop, who dined that evening with 
Sir William Muir, was present. Next evening she 
read her paper on ''Western Tibet," and it was 
incorporated in the Scottish Geographical Society's 
Magazine for October. She was now one of the most 
distinguished members of the British Association. 
More than a hundred admiring reviews of her 
volumes on Persia had appeared, one of them by 
Mr. Curzon, at whose private suggestion she made 
some small corrections before sending them to 


the press for a second edition. Mr. Murray (the 
fourth John Murray) sent her the munificent share 
of its profits on which were based her financial 
relations with both his father and himself, after the 
reissue of Unbeaten Tracks in Japan. 

I share your feeling of sadness [she wrote] 
regarding the literary account for so many years 
addressed to me in your dear father's hand. But 
even he could not express himself more kindly and 
gracefully than you have done in the note received 
this morning. Persia is not an attractive country to 
write about and I fully expected failure, therefore 
this success is especially gratifying, and is a con- 
tinuation of the good fortune which has attended 
me since I began my literary career under your 
father's auspices. 

She had a particular reason for welcoming a large 
cheque, already alluded to. A considerable portion 
of her profits from the sale of Journeys in Persia and 
Kurdistan was consecrated to rebuilding the " John 
Bishop Memorial Hospital." The expense of re- 
building was great, and the work could not be on 
the same scale as that wrecked by the floods of 
July, 1890; but the existing hospital at Islamabad, 
erected in due course, contains 12 beds for women, 
with the possibility of expansion in dry seasons. 

Mrs. Bishop saw Dr. Ritchie in Edinburgh, and he 
confirmed Dr. Davies' opinion about her health. 
He consulted with Dr. Grainger Stewart ; both noted 
heart-failure and rheumatic gout, and were most 
anxious that she should go to Carlsbad to drink 
the waters there and be treated by a celebrated 
German specialist, and she planned to leave 
about August 20 for that purpose. An outbreak 
of cholera and exceptional heat abroad, however, 
decided Dr. Grainger Stewart to forbid this step, 


and she spent the rest of August with Miss Clayton 
at Kingussie, where drives in a pony chair and much 
walking helped her a little. But as baths and 
massage were prescribed, she went to Buxton in 
September for both. 

The Cottage had been lent all summer to Mrs. 
Brown's brother, Mr. Dixon. On October 3 Mrs. 
Bishop went to Tobermory and stayed there for nearly 
four months. These were filled with her usual 
activities, to which was added the organising of cookery 
classes, accomplished in the face of almost absolute 
local indifference. They were in connection with the 
Technical Education movement, and she wrote to 
Mrs. Blackie about her difficulties: 

I am much overdone by nothing less than under- 
taking the sole organising of cookery classes, and 
providing all the essentials. It has been awful work, 
because the people are so dilatory and shilly-shally, 
but they were opened last night successfully. 

She got leave to utilise the old schoolhouse next 
to her cottage for these classes, and invited the School 
Board, the ministers, and chief townspeople, on the 
evening of December 6, to witness the first illustrated 

Another interest was reading her notes on Tibet 
aloud to her valued neighbour, Mrs. MacLachlan, 
of Badarroch, whose feeble eyesight made reading 
impossible. Mrs. MacLachlan always expected her 
when the wind blew and the rain fell, and looked 
forward to her coming. 

Her health improved at Tobermory; the winter 
was fine on the whole, and she took rides and walks 
over the moor. Her doctors had urged these, but 
the rides were bereft of their charm, for she had to 
use a side-saddle, to which she had so long been 

i8 93 ] PRACTICAL TALKS 265 

unaccustomed, and after her Oriental experiences she 
considered it dangerous. The long walks facing the 
wind on the uplands were quite to her mind, as was 
the absence of distraction. For the time, too, she 
surrendered her habit of late study and writing. 

That winter she gave a series of practical " Talks " 
to the members of the Y. W.C. A. The subjects were : 
"Honour all Men," "Tit for Tat," "Clothing" (in 
humility), " I'll do it TcAnorrow," " Gossip," " How 
to make Home Happy." They were reminders of 
duty, enlivened by story and illustration from Mrs. 
Bishop's extended travels ; and notes of them survive, 
from which the writer is tempted to quote, but which 
she feels bound to lay aside. They were touched 
with tenderness and instinct, with a sense of the 
hopelessness of venturing upon the duties of life 
unless aided by the Spirit of life, who wars against 
the tedium, the carelessness, the waste, the indiffer- 
ence of everyday life, and transmutes it into helpful 
ministry, joy, beauty, and order. 

Early in December Mr. Murray proposed her as a 
fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and at 
first 1 a cordial welcome was extended by the fellows 
present a distinction which she valued chiefly because 
of its recognition of a woman's work. 

Then late in January, 1893, she left Mull, went 
south to Stranraer, and lectured there on the 27th. 
Her first ten days in 41 Morningside Park were 
spent in bed. She wrote to Mrs. Macdonald in 
February : 

1 In accordance, as was supposed, with the terms of the Charter, 
a few distinguished lady travellers were elected as fellows of the 
R.G.S., but a somewhat bitter opposition was aroused, and at a 
special meeting called to discuss the election and the whole question 
it was decided to elect no more lady fellows. This, however, did 
not cancel the elections already made. 


I am improving now, but am very weak, and have 
not felt able to write any but business letters. The 
lecture, in spite of my severe pain, went off very well, 
and the audience was very large. My rooms here are 
lovely, and most comfortable. My pictures are all 
hung as I directed. The precious portraits and four 
sketches of Tobermory face me as I write, and all my 
surroundings are as they were in Walker Street. 
His study table, just as he had it, is at my side. At 
present these things seem a fearful mockery of my 
loneliness, but perhaps they will prove soothing after 
a while. There are some sweet old lines very dear 
to me : 

I thank Thee for the quiet rest 

Thy servant taketh now, 
And for the good fight foughten well, 

And for his crowned brow ! 

You, too, give thanks for these and you can feel 
that He who gave has taken away. I have my 
small cares and losses and worry about them, and 
you were a lesson to me with your sad, calm, sweet 
face, and the steadfastness with which you were 
starting on a path of pain and sacrifice, because 
you believed it was the right path. ... I know of 
no friend to whom I can speak of my inmost 
feelings as I can to you, or about my beloved 
dead ; no one whose sympathy is so always 

Mrs. Bishop stayed in Edinburgh for nearly three 
months. Her papers entitled "Among the Tibetans " 
appeared in The Leisure Hour for February and March, 
and she was engaged with addresses and lectures 
till she left for the south, the most important of 
them being an address on the need of Christian 
missions given in the Synod Hall on Easter Sunday, 
April 2. She was taking lessons in photography as 
well and was learning to print her own films. 

She went south on April 19, halting at Knares- 
boro' and Houghton, and reached London by May i, 
going straight to Mr. and Mrs. Mathieson. She 


was at once plunged into the vortex of May meetings, 
and took her full share on their platforms. On 
May 9 she was presented to Queen Victoria at Her 
Majesty's Drawing Room, and it may have been on 
this occasion that, as the famous lady traveller kissed 
her hand, the Queen said, " I am very much pleased 
to see you here, Mrs. Bishop." 

Mrs. Bishop wrote on April 30 in reference to the 
vote of the Royal Geographical Society : 

I am much astonished at the retrograde movement 
of the R.G.S. Still I think it is better to exclude 
women altogether than, while admitting us, to create 
invidious distinctions in the membership. I suppose 
that the matter will not be allowed to rest here. I 
don't think that a fellowship which is chiefly a matter 
of s. d., and is not a recognition of work done, is 
worth much at any rate. 

And on May 27 she continued, in reference to a 
circular received on the subject : 

I don't care to take any steps in the matter, as I 
never took any regarding admission. Fellowship, as 
it stands at present, is not a distinction and not a 
recognition of work, and really is not worth taking 
any trouble about. At the same time the proposed 
action is a dastardly injustice to women. 

When she returned to town on June i it was to 
Lambeth Palace, where she spent three days, speaking 
at a church meeting on the 2nd and enjoying her 
brief converse with the Archbishop and his guests. 
From Eastbourne, on June 6, she wrote her last 
word on the R.G.S.'s action : 

I am going to meet Mr. Curzon at the R.G.S. on 
Tuesday or Wednesday regarding a subject on 
which he can give me some helpful information. I 
am amazed to see that in a letter to Saturday's Times 


my declining to read a paper for the R.G.S. has been 
referred to in an inaccurate way, which makes me 
ridiculous. My health was breaking down at the 
time, and I could not prepare a paper, and I added 
in declining in a friendly note these words as nearly 
as possible : " It seems scarcely consistent in a society 
which does not recognise the work of women to 
ask a woman to read a paper." I never made any 
claim to be a " geographer,' and I hope that none of 
my friends have ever made it for me. As a traveller 
and observer I have done a good deal of hard and 
honest work, and may yet do more ! but I never put 
forward my claim to have even that recognised by the 
R.G.S. If I had thought that any use would be made 
of my note I should not even have written the above. 
I think it might be well if ladies were ejected, as it 
would tend to a reconsideration of the qualifications 
for fellowship, and possibly to a move in the direction 
of having membership as a matter of election and sub- 
scription, and. fellowship as a distinction. 

Her whole time in England during this summer 
was very restlessly spent. She wrote to Mrs. Allan 
on June 30 : 

Three among my visits have been specially delight- 
ful one to Mrs. Brown, another to Lambeth Palace, 
and another to my cousin, Bishop Sumner. The 
Drawing Room was brilliant, but it was very long, 
and I was much bored. I have been at Leeds at the 
request of the Archbishop to give an address on the 
Syrian Christians, and am now taking a few days' rest 
with some dear friends in a lovely Yorkshire home. 
I return to London to receive my fellowship from the 
R.G.S. and for the Prince of Wales's garden party on 
the 5th. 

On the evening on which her fellowship was finally 
conferred Lord Dunmore read a paper on "Journey- 
ings in the Pamirs and Central Asia," and Mrs. Bishop 
opened the discussion afterwards. The Keswick 
meetings drew her northwards about the middle of 
July, and by August she was in Tobermory, where 


she prepared a series of important addresses to which 
she had pledged herself. She was reading busily as 
well, and the books mentioned in her diary indicate 
the trend of her plans. She wrote to Mr. Murray on 
August 23 : 

I think of remaining here till the second week of 
October. I should have liked of all things to go to 
the Church Congress at Birmingham, where my father 
had one of the huge parishes for nearly five years, but 
think that two months of quiet are necessary. I am 
thinking of going to pay a few visits in Japan next 
winter, and may possibly go on to Korea ; but I am 
too old for hardships and great exertions now. 



THE last months of 1893 were so full of work and 
movement that it is difficult to realise that Dr. Grainger 
Stewart not only confirmed the inefficient action of 
the heart, but pronounced Mrs. Bishop to be suffering 
from an affection of the base of one lung, which 
retarded her pulse and enfeebled her breathing. In 
spite of this addition to her physical disabilities, she 
spent October and November in an incessant sequence 
of lectures and addresses, nearly all on missions, and 
two of them to Edinburgh students. 

The impression produced by one of these appearances 
was so profound that it made her famous as a platform 
speaker. So far she had not been widely known as 
a speaker on behalf of missions, but now, says Mr. 
Eugene Stock, she stepped at once to the front rank 
as a missionary advocate, and this speech may rank 
as perhaps her greatest contribution to the cause of 
Christ for the heathen. It was an address given 
(Nov. i) in Exeter Hall at the "Gleaners' Union" 
anniversary meeting, which was presided over by 
Bishop Hill, just before he returned to his diocese in 
Western Equatorial Africa, where a few months later 
he gave up his consecrated life. In the history of the 
Church Missionary Society this address is mentioned as 
" proclaiming Mrs. Bishop to be one of the greatest of 
missionary advocates." It was printed and circulated 



From a photograph by Lyd Sawyer, 


by thousands all over the world, and "exercised an 
influence upon the public mind beyond that of any 
other missionary address of the generation." Mrs. 
Bishop called her address " Heathen Claims and 
Christian Duty," and prefaced it most effectively by 
describing her attitude as that of 

A traveller who has been made a convert to missions, 
not by missionary successes, but by seeing in four and 
a half years of Asiatic travelling the desperate needs 
of the un-Christianised world. There was a time when 
I was altogether indifferent to missions, and would 
have avoided a mission-station rather than have visited 
it. But the awful, pressing claim of the un-Christian- 
ised nations which I have seen has taught me that the 
work of their conversion to Christ is one to which one 
would gladly give influence and whatever else God has 
given to one. 

She called upon her hearers not to rest upon the 
little already effected by a few heroes, but 

To set their faces towards the wilderness, that great, 
waste, howling wilderness, in which one thousand 
millions of our race are wandering in darkness and 
the shadow of death, without hope, being without God 
in the world. The work is only beginning : we have 
barely touched the fringe of it. 

And then she gave a glimpse of the awful sins which 
canker the whole Eastern world : 

When travelling in Asia it struck me very much how 
very little we had heard, how little we know, as to 
how sin is enthroned, and deified, and worshipped. 
There is sin and shame everywhere. Mohammedanism 
is corrupt to the very core. The morals of Moham- 
medan countries are corrupt, and the imagination 
very wicked. How corrupt is Buddhism, how corrupt 
Buddhists are ! . . . These false faiths degrade women 
with an infinite degradation. The intellect is dwarfed, 
while all the worst passions of human nature are 
stimulated and developed in a fearful degree; jealousy, 
envy, murderous hate, intrigue running to such an 


extent that, in some countries, I have hardly ever 
been in a woman's house, or near a woman's tent, 
without being asked for drugs with which to disfigure 
the favourite wife, to take away her life, or to take 
away the life of the favourite wife's infant son. This 
request has been made to me nearly two hundred 
times. ... It follows necessarily that there is also an 
infinite degradation of men. The whole continent of 
Asia is corrupt. It is the scene of barbarities, tortures, 
brutal punishments, oppression, official corruption, 
which is worst under Mohammedan rule ; of all things 
which are the natural products of systems without 
God in Christ. There are no sanctities of home ; 
nothing to tell of righteousness, temperance, of judg- 
ment to come ; only a fearful looking for in the future 
of fiery indignation from some quarter they know not 

She spoke then of what sickness is to them : 

If one speaks of the sins, one is bound to speak of 
the sorrows too. The sorrows of heathenism impressed 
me, sorrows which humanitarianism as well as 
Christianity should lead us to roll away. . . . What 
does sickness mean to millions of our fellow creatures 
in heathen lands ? Throughout the East sickness is 
believed to be the work of demons. The sick person 
at once becomes an object of loathing and terror, is 

Eut out of the house, is taken to an outhouse, is poorly 
id, and rarely visited, or the astrologers, or priests, or 
medicine men, or wizards assemble, beating big drums 
and gongs, blowing horns, and making the most fearful 
noises. They light gigantic fires, and dance round 
them with their unholy incantations. They beat the 
sick person with clubs to drive out the demon. They 
lay him before a roasting fire till his skin is blistered, 
and then throw him into cold water. They stuff the 
nostrils of the dying with aromatic mixtures, or mud, 
and in some regions they carry the chronic sufferer to a 
mountain-top, placing barley-balls and water beside 
him> and leave him to die alone. If there were time 
I could tell you things that would make it scarcely 
possible for any one beginning life without a fixed 
purpose to avoid going into training as a medical 

,893] LUXURY AT HOME 273 

And then she wound up with an appeal to " Go, 
Let go, Help go," that cannot easily be forgotten 
to give up what she called " the unnecessaries of life," 
to readjust, by our increased knowledge, our personal 
needs and Christ's needs at the foot of the Cross. 

For we hear His voice ringing down through ages of 
selfishness and luxury and neglected duty, solemnly 
declaring that the measure of our love for our brethren 
must be nothing less than the measure of His own. 

She had noticed, on her return from the East at the 
end of 1890, a great increase in the private luxury of 
English families even those sincerely religious in 
the multiplication of costly personal accessories, in food, 
clothing, amusements; a new luxury beginning in 
the nursery, invading the school, enervating the 
young, so that it was more and more difficult to win, 
from the ranks of those who lived at ease, followers 
of a Master who consecrated the missionaries He sent 
out to poverty, danger, and toil. In alluding to this 
subject she said : 

May it not be that we are called to more self- 
sacrifice and self-denial than we have used or are 
trying to use ? Can we hear of souls perishing, as 
they are perishing, and yet continue to use the silver 
and gold which we constantly say are the Lord's for 
other purposes and not His? I know that reasons 
are given for not giving up luxuries, and I should not 
venture to condemn them in any way. ... I would 
only say, regarding the oft-repeated argument, that if 
people gave up these superfluities " it would be so bad 
for trade," that there is one word of the Master which 
very often occurs to me, " What is that to thee ? 
Follow thou Me." It may be that the way of the 
Cross is harder than of old, and that the steep of 
Calvary which we all must climb if we are to suffer 
with Christ and to be glorified with Him is more 
rugged than of old. I know not. But always in front 
passes the Master, and every step of the road of self- 



denial is wet with His blood. And with that example 
before us, and His promise to help us, surely we may 
deny ourselves the little luxuries and many of the 
little pleasures of this earthly life for the sake of 
those for whom, as for us, He died, and who are still 
living in ignorance of Him. I would say no more on 
this subject, because the measure of our giving and 
the measure of our self-denial are questions which each 
one must decide for himself or herself. But I would 
venture to say that each one of us must seek to decide 
them in the light of the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
and as if His eye were upon us in the decision. 

After her Exeter Hall address Mrs. Bishop returned 
to Edinburgh, halting to give two addresses to railway- 
men at York, where her cousin, Miss Lucy Bird, had 
a Bible-class amongst the employes at the railway- 
carriage works. By November 9 she had returned 
to Morningside Park to take up a long series of similar 
engagements. All this time she was quietly making 
preparations for a prolonged tour. Dr. Grainger 
Stewart did not forbid her travelling; he rather advised 
it, although he deprecated quite so violent and sus- 
tained an effort as her famous ride in Persia. She 
was herself yielding to the attraction of the " Far 
East," and shaped her plans for China and Japan, 
with Korea expressly in view should circumstances 
prove favourable. 

Two days before leaving Edinburgh she was 
vaccinated, and then left for final preparations in 
London, where on December 18 she spent the evening 
with me in my chambers in York Street. Dr. Horton 
arrived about nine o'clock to see her. They had 
frequently met, and had advanced in mutual under- 
standing and appreciation. For two hours their con- 
verse sped in that little upper room, winged with 
divine love for wandering souls. At last Dr. Horton, 
who was chairman of the L.M.S. that year, offered 

i8 9 4] START FOR KOREA 275 

to give her a circular introduction to all its mis- 
sionaries working in China, and wrote out, then 
and there, a brief document which proved to be of 
constant use to her in her travels, making her 
doubly welcome at many a mission-house and 
medical mission-station. Then, as she folded up the 
sheet of note-paper and put it into the bag that hung 
from her belt, he asked us to kneel, and prayed for her, 
whether on sea or land, in peace or danger, that she 
might go as God's ambassador to the East and return 
having glorified His name. This was practically her 
last spare evening in London before the start. 

On January n, 1894, she went to Liverpool, where 
Miss Cullen met her and accompanied her to the 
office of the Allan Line steamers. She had money 
to pay for her passage in her hand when she entered, 
but found that the deck cabin was secured in the 
s.s. Mongolia, and that its owners desired to treat 
her as their guest, a generous courtesy which was 
often offered to her. Just before she left England 
she wrote to Mrs. Allan : 

I should like to have prayers made [at the Y. W.C.A. 
meetings in Tobermory] for my safe return. I love 
my friends and country dearly, and wish to come back 
to live and die among my friends. I hope I may yet 
fight my way to Aros House on stormy winter evenings. 

The presentiment which dimmed her former leave- 
taking overhung this departure even more fore- 
bodingly, and when bidding me farewell she seemed 
to be wrapped up in the sombre expectation of death 
in the East. This was in strong contrast to her 
heroic welcome of God's last messenger when, at 
length, he stooped to bear her home. 

Her route was by Halifax, through Canada, to 
Vancouver's Island, and thence to Yokohama. 


On the long train journey to Vancouver she read 
Mr. Marion Crawford's San? Ilario, Don Orsino, and 
A Roman Singer. At Vancouver's Island she halted 
for six days, paying visits, evading interviewers, who, 
however, ran her to earth at times. The voyage to 
Yokohama occupied a fortnight, and she rested only 
two days after her arrival (February 19), going on 
to Kobe, and giving in all ten days to Japan. 

She sailed for Korea at the end of February, reach- 
ing Chemulpo, the port of Seoul, on March i, for 
the first of the four visits to Korea which she paid 
between 1894 and 1897. This visit lasted four and a 
half months, and she tells us it produced the impres- 
sion that Korea was the most uninteresting country 
she ever travelled in. Contrasted with her last 
glimpse of Japan its brilliant colouring, varied vege- 
tation and picturesque buildings, the brown, bare 
hills of Korea looked grim and forbidding in the 
sunless spring days. The general aspect of the 
rolling cultivated country seemed monotonous, being 
without wood except orchards and spindly pines, 
and the hillsides much taken up with graves ; and 
Mrs. Bishop missed the beauty of form and fine gates, 
temples, and walls which give dignity to a landscape. 
She wrote to Mr. Murray : 

Korea took less hold on me than any country I 
ever travelled in. It is monotonous in every way, 
and the Koreans seem the dregs of a race indolent, 
cunning, limp, and unmanly. 

This, however, was only her first impression, and, 
later on, she had to admit that the people were well 
endowed mentally and not bad-looking, and she came 
to find beauty, fascination, and weird picturesqueness 
in the country, specially when idealised by the 
unrivalled atmosphere of the Korean winter. Soon, 


too, the interesting political situation which began to 
develop this winter gripped her. Korea had been 
for centuries under the suzerainty of China, which 
repelled investigation, and it was only by the treaties 
of 1883 that the land of the "hermit nation" was 
opened to the world. For some years now Japan 
had been penetrating it with its influence : the ancient 
monarchy was struggling to maintain its identity, in 
face of a host of disintegrating influences, and a crisis 
was fast approaching. 

Mrs. Bishop spent a week at Chemulpo, in the 
island-studded estuary of the River Han, and upwards 
of a month at the capital, Seoul, with "its palaces 
and slums, its unspeakable meanness and faded 
splendours, its purposeless white-clad crowds, and its 
mediaeval processions, which for barbaric splendour 
cannot be matched on earth." She was generously 
entertained and assisted by Mr. McLeavy Brown, the 
able head of the Korean Customs, by the Russian 
and other European Ministers, and the missionaries ; 
and she not only saw a great deal of the life and 
work of Anglican and Presbyterian missions, medical 
and otherwise, but she took many photographs 
and collected notes which laid the foundations 
of her knowledge of the country. She writes to 
Mr. Murray: 

Photographing has been an intense pleasure. I 
began too late ever to be a photographer, and have 
too little time to learn the technicalities of the art; 
but I am able to produce negatives which are faithful, 
though not artistic, records of what I see. When I 
landed in Korea, I intended to write upon it; but I 
do not think that, looked at from my point of view, 
it would make an interesting book. I did not write 
any journal-letters, and have only careful notes and 
memories. Everywhere people urged me to write, 
but I doubt my powers. 


She did, however, send some letters on Korea to 
the St. James's Gazette, and these were copied into the 
Anglo-Chinese and Anglo-Japanese papers, and were 
translated into Japanese, appearing in many native 
newspapers. As they treated of the extraordinary 
influence of Japan in Korea and its introduction of 
" western leaven" to the bewildered " hermit people," 
they were naturally most interesting to the new 
power in the East. 

Mrs. Bishop had written no diary-letters because 
Miss Clayton, whom she left very ill, died in April. 
For thirty-five years Miss Clayton had been almost 
a mother to her. "She shared with my sister my 
former letters, and to her my Persian letters were 
written. Nothing remains to return to in England 
now." This loss snapped Mrs. Bishop's strongest tie 
to England, and she now felt free to linger in the East. 
Accordingly she started on a voyage eastwards, up 
the River Han, in a sampan or native boat. Her 
account of this voyage forms her special contribution 
to the exploration of Korea, as no European travellers 
up the river had recorded their observations; and it 
was certainly the most attractive part of her Korean 
travel. She found it impossible to get a reliable 
interpreter or make up a caravan, and, after five 
weeks of abortive attempts, feeling very ill, she was 
just going to Japan, when Mr. Miller, a young Presby- 
terian missionary, with the cordial consent of his 
brethren, offered to go too, taking a Korean servant to 
help him out with the language. The little boat was 
her home for five weeks; the crew consisted of its 
owner, " Kim," and his hired man, and she had a 
capital Chinese servant of Bishop Corfe's, named 

She explored both the southern and the northern 

1894] ON THE HAN RIVER 279 

branches of the Han River, which intersects Korea. Its 
beauty delighted her ; the people inhabiting the large 
villages on its banks, though extremely ill-mannered, 
were more interesting than the sodden and stupid 
dwellers in Seoul. Trees and flowers were at their 
loveliest, and insects and birds most brilliant. Though, 
as she says, " the bad accommodation and aggressive 
and intolerable curiosity of the people gave Korean 
travel such a very seamy side that it would not suit 
the globe-trotter," yet her spirits revived under the 
influences of novelty, discomfort, hourly perplexities. 
She was once more "beyond the pale," with nature 
and human nature unknown, and therefore teeming 
with possibilities that comfortable legations could 
not provide, however anxious to entertain her. Her 
descriptions betray this revival of her whole being, 
this joie de vivre in the wilderness. 

The scenery varied hourly, and after the first days 
became not only beautiful, but in places magnificent 
and full of surprises; the trees were in their early 
vividness of green and gold ; the flowers and flowering 
shrubs were in blossom ; the crops at their most 
attractive stage of tender colouring ; birds sang in the 
thickets ; rich fragrances were wafted from the banks ; 
here and there red cattle fed knee-deep in abounding 
grass ; the waters of the Han, nearly at their lowest, 
were clear as crystal, and their broken sparkle flashed 
back the sunbeams which passed through a sky as 
blue as that of Tibet. 

Her observant eyes noted the flowers great and 
small, whether climbing about trees and rocks, or 
carpeting the sward beneath groves of chestnuts, 
maples, and limes. Thus, where forests mantled the 
mountains, she espied : 

Marigolds, buttercups, scentless white and purple 
violets, yellow violas, white aconite, lady's slipper, 


hawkweed, camomile, red and white dandelions, 
guelder roses, wygelias, mountain peonies, martagon 
and tiger lilies, gentians, pink spirea, yellow day-lilies, 
white honeysuckle, irises, and many others. 

She often walked on the banks, while the sampan 
was poled up the rapids, and found the people a little 
too inquisitive and sometimes hostile. Indeed, 
Mr. Miller had to knock down one cowardly youth 
who kicked her. She contrived a tiny " dark room " 
on her boat and developed her photographs. She 
describes her doings as follows : 

Visiting villages and small towns, climbing to ridges 
bordering the Han to get a view of fertile and populous 
valleys, conversing with and interrogating the people 
through Mr. Miller and his servant, taking geographi- 
cal notes, temperatures, altitudes, barometric readings, 
and measurements of the river, collecting and drying 
plants, photographing and developing negatives under 
difficulties, were occupations which made up busy and 
interesting days. 

Only one letter written on the river is available. 
It was addressed to Miss Cullen and dated May 4 : 

This morning, before I was up, I was soused to the 
skin in bed in a very bad rapid, through your Jersey 
and double Shetland shawl, my other garments, and 
my blankets. . . . We have been travelling three 
weeks, six people in a flat-bottomed punt, with a mat 
roof 4 ft. 6 in. high at the ridge pole. Though very 
rough and precarious as to food, the boat-life is easy 
and good for my health. Can you imagine my poling 
in an emergency, or even taking a hand in hauling up 
the rapids ? 

The sampan voyage ended at Pack-kiu-mi, where 
Mrs. Bishop and Mr. Miller got ponies and grooms for 
themselves and their servants, and rode north, over 
the lovely Diamond Mountains with their grand views, 
to the Eastern treaty port of Wonson, on the Sea of 
Japan. The journey took a fortnight, and was broken 

mi in nil 


From a photograph by Mrs. Bishop. 


by wretched nights in filthy and comfortless Korean 
inns. The bridle tracks were infamous, the bridges 
rotten, the occasional roads deep in dust or mud. 
Now and then, the grooms were panic-stricken and 
yelled with terror, beating the peasants who, at night, 
showed them the way with torches. Then Mrs. Bishop 
knew that they had " tiger on the brain." The ride 
and the glorious views were memorable ; so, too, were 
the adventures. Mountain torrents, she says, boomed 
and crashed, the vivid green woods were filled with 
white and yellow blossoms and heavy sweet odours. 
At a little distance, the squalid villages, with their deep- 
eaved brown houses, massed amongst orchards, or on 
gentle slopes, added life to the scene, and " the men in 
their queer white clothes and dress hats with their 
firm tread, and the bundled-up women with a straggling 
walk and long staffs, brought round with a semi-circular 
swing at every step, were adjuncts one could not 
dispense with." Distant panoramas unfolded them- 
selves billows of hilly woodland, backed by a jagged 
mountain wall with lofty pinnacles 6,000 ft. high. Then, 
in a calm retreat, a small green semi-circular plateau 
walled round with rocky precipices, they came on the 
Chang-an Sa, the Temple of Eternal Rest, the most 
ancient of the Korean Buddhist monasteries, dating 
from the sixth century. This great pile of temple 
buildings, with deep curved roofs, is secluded from 
the outer world by snow, for four months of the year. 

The monks were very friendly, courteous, and hos- 
pitable. They invited her to their midnight service, 
and instructed Mr. Miller in the use of the mystic 
syllables which they recited as they told their beads. 
They gave up to her one of their own oven-like cells, 
where the heat of the floor, warmed by some system of 
chauffage centrale, was so great that it melted the 


candles in her boxes and turned some sugar candy to 
molasses. In spite of the heat, she was entreated not 
to leave her window open at night, for fear of the 
tigers, which appeared to be by no means so entirely 
creations of her groom's brain as she was at first 
inclined to believe. She ended by crediting the tales 
of their existence and depredations and in accepting 
the rough local division of Koreans into "those who 
hunt the tiger and those whom the tiger hunts." The 
monks shared with her their fare, which, as they were 
strict vegetarians, consisted entirely of honey and 
nuts. But though their manners were mild, and their 
graceful, gentle hospitality was a pleasant contrast to 
the arrogance and self-conceited impertinence of the 
Confucians, and though Mrs. Bishop felt that some of 
them were truly sincere in their devotions, yet, she 
says, there was no blinking the fact that their morals 
were abominable and their ignorance so unbounded 
that they knew nothing of the history and tenets of 
their creed. Indeed, faith in Buddhism, once so 
powerful, seemed hardly to exist in Korea. Three 
centuries back it had been disestablished ; and though 
Confucianism was the official cult, yet, Mrs. Bishop 
says, the entire absence of priests and temples and 
religious observance would lead a hasty observer to 
put the Koreans down as a people without religion ; 
the religious faculty seemed entirely absent. The 
whole population was, however, in complete bondage 
to the worship of demons whom they believed to 
inhabit earth, air, and sky, every tree, ravine, spring, 
or mountain crest, and to find a lodgment on every 
roof, chimney, beam, jar, or shelf. This belief, the only 
one he had, kept the Korean in a state of perpetual 
nervous terror, and added much to the misery pro- 
duced by a hopelessly corrupt government. 

i894] TONG-HAK RISING 283 

Indifference to Korea and its people was yielding, in 
Mrs. Bishop's mind, to interest, and by the time she 
reached Wonson she was planning a tour in the 
northern section of the peninsula. Wonson, Mrs. Bishop 
found one of the most attractive of the Treaty Ports ; 
it is in a corner of Broughton Bay, and sixteen 
miles from Port Lazarief, the northern arm of this 
fine harbour which Russia was said to covet for the 
terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway. In this 
neat, trim little town, with its background of fine 
mountains, dignified with snow during seven months 
of the year, Mrs. Bishop was for twelve days the guest 
of Mr. and Mrs. Gale, cultivated American Presbyterian 
missionaries. It is in sharp contrast to the wilderness 
out of which she had come and to the turmoil into which 
she was about to be plunged to picture her reading 
Dante with Mr. Gale and enjoying the intellectual 
effort which the Divina Commedia demands. Part 
of the time here, she gave to junk excursions along the 
north-east coast, and these led her to the conclusion 
that Wonson would form a better starting-point for 
her autumnal exploration than Seoul. 

Here, she first heard of the Tong-hak rising, the 
" Oriental " rebellion against Western reforms, in 
southern Korea. This did not, however, seem to 
be important enough to interfere with her plans, and, 
storing all her travelling gear with the Gales, she 
left by sea, intending to go for a week to Seoul and 
then for the summer to Japan. But when she reached 
Chemulpo, on June 21, a very exciting state of things 
revealed itself which altered the situation completely. 
A Japanese fleet was in the harbour and a Japanese 
army on shore. Though only two hours had elapsed 
since 6,000 troops landed, the arrangements were 
perfectly orderly and quiet. There was no swagger, 


but the mannikins as she calls them were obviously 
in Korea for a purpose which they meant to accom- 
plish.' Under the pretext of protecting Japanese sub- 
jects from the Tong-hak rising, the dwarf battalions, a 
miracle of rigid discipline and good behaviour, were 
soon steadily tramping to Seoul. 

It was the beginning of that movement against 
China which revealed not only the diplomatic address 
of Japan, but its skill in the science and craft of war. 
Here in Korea the island nation had with one blow 
" outwitted China." Every one was completely be- 
wildered. Mr. Wilkinson, the Vice-Consul for Great 
Britain, called on Mrs. Bishop almost immediately, 
and warned her she must leave that night. It was a 
serious blow to her plans and to her personal comfort. 
Her luggage and money were at Seoul, whither the 
Japanese were marching. She had nothing but the 
clothing she wore a suit of blue tweed, stained and 
worn with use in the sampan and on horseback and 
in her purse there was only money enough to pay 
for her passage to Chefoo, the first port of call of a 
Japanese steamer which was on the point of leaving. 
But there was no appeal ; and she reluctantly yielded, 
and left that night in the Higo Maru, without so much 
as enough to pay for a jinrikisha when she landed at 
Chefoo. She walked up in the heat to the British 
Consulate, feeling for the first time in her life a 
quivering sense of sympathy with the unfortunate 
whose lack of all things thrusts them back upon 
mendicancy. She had neither passport nor letters of 
introduction they were in the bank at Seoul; her 
dress was very shabby; she fancied that the porter 
eyed her with suspicion. " I have felt a far tenderer 
sympathy with the penniless, especially the educated 
penniless, ever since," she wrote. Mr. Clement Allen, 


the Consul, took in the situation at once, met her with 
the heartiest welcome, and set about remedying her 
immediate needs without delay. He took her to the 
bank, vouched for her, introduced her to several 
ladies, who supplied her with summer clothing, and 
accompanied her back to the Higo Maru^ which 
brought her (June 27) to Newchang, in Chinese 

This dreary, solitary-looking place of mud and 
muddy water, was the great trade-port of one of 
the most prosperous provinces of the empire. The 
British Consul and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Lowndes 
Bullock, gave her a warm and reassuring reception, 
and she stayed with them till July 4, providing herself 
with a new outfit. The heat was terrible, rain fell in 
torrents, and mud was the unforgettable external 
feature of Newchang; but the kindness she received 
soothed and restored her, and its memory was ever 
afterwards treasured in her heart. 

In spite of rumours of an extensive inundation, she 
started with Wong, on July 4, up the River Liau for 
Mukden, in one of the long and narrow pea-boats, 
with matting roof and one huge sail, which bring 
down, from the interior, the beans, the raison d'etre of 
Newchang. The country was so deeply flooded that 
the boat steered across the inundated swamps, thus 
avoiding many twistings and turnings of the river. 
But even so the voyage lasted a week, and unhappily 
the boat was becalmed in a malarial swamp, where 
Mrs. Bishop was seized by a severe attack of fever, 
aggravated by mosquitoes. Later on violent tempests 
tore the slight covering of the roof into strips, so that 
she was soaked through and through by torrents of 
rain. Crops and villages were swept away, and where 
they had been the pea-boat sailed, and she saw on 



either hand the ruined villagers clinging to trees and 
to the walls of their wrecked farmhouses. This 
desolation was increased by a tremendous rush of 
water, where the river-bank had given way. " There 
was a muddy rolling sea, a black sky dark with 
tremendous rain, and the foliage of trees with sub- 
merged trunks was alone suggestive of even vegetable 
life and of the villages which had been destroyed by 
the devouring waters." 

Fate always seemed to time her arrival at the very 
crises of calamity, excitement, danger, wherever she 
went. Such floods had not been known for genera- 
tions; and the plain so wrecked had been a week 
earlier the very garden of Manchuria, growing millet, 
wheat, barley, mulberry-trees, tobacco, beans, and the 
opium poppy. 

Even worse was her fortune when Wong hired a 
cart to convey her into Mukden. There were but 
three miles to traverse after landing ; but she was so 
ill she felt she would rather die than make another 
effort, and to travel in an unameliorated Chinese cart, 
on an infamous road, was agony. The road was in an 
appalling state deeply rutted, dangerous with tree- 
roots, quagmires, and ditches. The climax was an 
upset over a bank, the mules following the cart, so 
that she found herself " in the roof with the cameras 
on the top of me and my right arm twisted under 
me, a Chinese crowd to see the ' foreign devil,' a vague 
impression of disaster in my somewhat dazed brain, 
and Wong raging at large ! " 

Soon, however, she was transported to a large 
shady bedroom in the house of Dr. Ross, the senior 
Scotch missionary of Mukden, restored to peace and 
comfort by Mrs. Ross's skilful ministration, and a 
time of dreamy restfulness. But her arm-bone was 

1894] MUKDEN 287 

splintered and its tendons were torn, so that Dr. 
Christie, the medical missionary, came for a week 
twice and thrice a day, and finally removed her to 
his own house. She recovered quickly, and was able 
to give an address at the church on July 22 ; but for 
long her journal-entries bear witness to the difficulty 
which she experienced in writing, and she could not 
use her needle at all. When she was able she accumu- 
lated statistics, and photographed all that interested 
her in the town. Mukden, the great centre of the 
Chinese trade in fur and wheat, impressed her as 
the most civilised and agreeable of Chinese cities. 
Encircled by a wall of beaten clay eleven miles in 
extent, it stands in the midst of an immense alluvial 
plain, bearing superb crops and sprinkled with farms 
embowered in trees, and with low blue hills limiting 
the horizon. Here, she had exceptional guides in 
Dr. Ross and Dr. Christie, whose mission had been 
established twenty-two years, and who had spared no 
pains to study Chinese proprieties and courtesies, and 
were therefore on good terms with the authorities, 
and, so far as the splendid hospital and medical school 
were concerned, were supported by General Tso and 
many of the philanthropic mandarins. 

Mrs. Bishop was much interested in what she saw 
of the work done here, and, speaking at a meeting in 
1901, referred to it : 

I broke my arm at the entrance to Mukden, and was 
taken, with that kindness which never fails in mission- 
houses, to Dr. Christie's house to have my arm cured. 
And there, every day, and not once in a day only, there 
were deputations of men coming to Dr. Christie's and 
Dr. Ross's houses asking for Christian teachers. 

They knew something of the Bible, purchased from 
the colporteurs all men of approved Christian char- 
acter, well-instructed men who travelled throughout 


Manchuria selling Bibles in whole or in part, and, 
halting, stayed in the villages giving instruction in the 
Scriptures. . . . One sees a Chinese colporteur start 
sometimes with a large pack on his own back, or if the 
district is likely to be one in which Bibles will be 
readily sold, with a coolie with another pack. He 
comes to a Chinese town, or large village : the people 
see his books, and crowd round him. The Chinese, 
as you know, have a great reverence for the printed 
page. Everywhere they value it and reverence it ; and 
in the towns rich Chinese keep men with bamboo 
baskets going through the streets collecting the scraps 
of written paper in the bamboo baskets, and gathering 
them into stone shrines, which have a fire in them, 
and in which these are reverently burned, to prevent 
them being trampled under foot and from falling into 
careless hands or the mouths of dogs. This great 
reverence for the written page is fortunately uniyersal. 
The colporteur stands in the largest space in the 
city that he can find, and he opens his pack and sells 
. . . and as the books are sold cheap, they come within 
the means of almost the humblest coolie. . . . He is 
not content, however, with mere selling. These col- 
porteurs are men who have been instructed by the 
Christian missionaries of the various missionary bodies, 
and have been taught how to teach. They can refer 
to passages in the Scriptures, and also to passages in 
the Chinese classics, which are always successful in 
securing an audience. . . . And so the colporteur is 
practically a missionary. 

But, though the favourable reception given to 
Christianity is one of the features of Mukden, Mrs. 
Bishop's time here was not devoid of other interests, 
for the weeks she spent in Mukden were full of war 
rumours and excitement. The Koreans had appealed 
to China for help against the Tong-haks and against 
the Japanese, who, a month after Mrs. Bishop left 
Korea, had captured the palace at Seoul and made 
the king practically a prisoner. By the beginning of 
August, hordes of undisciplined Manchu troops from 
North China, on their way overland to Korea, were 

1894] IN TIENTSIN 289 

pouring through Mukden at the rate of a thousand 
a day. They were animated by a bitter anti-foreign 
feeling, and this culminated at Lian-yang, forty miles 
away, in the murder of Mr. Wylie, a Scotch missionary. 
In Mukden itself the war ferment was increased, and 
after General Tso left with the army of five thousand 
splendidly drilled Chinese troopers who were all to 
perish with him on the battlefield of Pyong-yang a 
kind of anarchy ensued, aggravated by the hatred 
between Manchus and Chinese ; the lives of foreigners 
were jeopardised, and it was imperative that Mrs. 
Bishop should leave Mukden. On August 20, hurried 
at the end by excessive apprehension, she was carried 
in a chair to the river, and embarked in a junk, rain- 
proof and more comfortable than the pea-boat. Her 
missionary friends left Mukden rather later. 

The weather was fine when she started, but the end 
of her five days' voyage was in torrents of rain. She 
reached the consulate at Newchang in better trim 
than on her former arrival there, and stayed a few 
days with Mr. and Mrs. Lowndes Bullock, taking the 
steamer to Chefoo on the last day of August. She 
spent a fortnight at Chefoo, where a happy and 
unexpected event cheered her greatly. Her luggage 
left at Seoul, and the money banked there, reached her 
on September 9, so that she had the comfort of her 
own personal belongings once more, and could ven- 
ture by the Peiho River to Tientsin, en route for 

At Tientsin [she wrote to Miss Cullen] ... I gave 
an address to the women in the native chapel, Mr. 
King interpreting, and an address on "Other Missions " 
to the fifty missionaries at Tientsin, at Mr. Murray's. 
I went over Dr. Smith's hospital with him. ... I see 
more and more how piteous and fatal to missions 
is the laying hands suddenly on men or women to 



please others, or for their fathers' sake. Some of the 
missions are in an appalling state. 

On the 2ist she started, with Mr. Norman 1 and two 
other missionaries, on the last two stages of her 
voyage to Peking, where her headquarters were at 
the British Legation. Naturally she arrived on the 
verge of a crisis. Sir Robert Hart was uneasy, 
and requested all English residents to leave. A 
Japanese invasion was expected. Her stay in Peking 
therefore was cut short, and she returned to Chefoo 
by stages. 

The weather was lovely. She longed to go to 
Korea ; but the suspense and foreboding of war made 
it wiser to accept an offer of a berth in a small German 
steamer called the Swatow, bound for Vladivostock. 
This promised at least a glimpse of Siberia and 
Russian Manchuria, and she hoped to investigate 
the condition of the Korean immigrants who had 
taken shelter there under the Russian flag. Wong 
returned for three weeks to her service, helped her 
to pack and to arrange her luggage, and everybody 
was kind and helpful. But the Swatow lingered, and 
she did not go on board till November 2. Fortunately 
the weather was glorious, and she could take long 
walks, photograph, and recover from her Mukden 
disaster. She wrote to Miss Cullen (October 26) : 

I had given up all hope of seeing my travelling 
gear again and of going to Siberia. The Swatow is 
a little steamer with one cabin, and I shall be her only 
passenger ! I feel so rich and superabounding ! I 
have got 150 silver dollars, a bed, blankets, curtains, 
saddle, and every carefully considered necessary- 
furs and gear for a cold climate, portable soup and 
ambrosial tea, and heaps of things I don't need after 

1 The Rev. H. V. Norman, of the S.P.G. North China Mission, who 
was murdered by the Boxers at Yung Ch'ing (June 3, 1900). 


the penury and lack of necessaries for four months ! 
Now I hope to sail for Vladivostock in five days, with 
a well-selected outfit, and to remain in Siberia for six 
weeks, till ice closes the harbour. I hope to get into 
the interior. Somehow, I rather like the thought of 
this journey. It will give me the complete change 
of climate which the doctors say is the only thing to 
cure the malarial fever from which I have suffered 
without ceasing since the first week in July. I shall 
be in absolutely new surroundings and in circum- 
stances in which I have never been before, and shall 
see something of a growing and remarkable part of the 
great Russian Empire. 

The Siberian winter will set in while I am there, 
and there will be snow and storm, and perhaps I shall 
see the Gilgaks and Fish-skin Tartars, and possibly 
even the Amur ! I have a special recommendation 
from the Home Department in St. Petersburg. All 
these months I have been wearying to travel again ; 
but even apart from the war, I could not travel 
without my bed and gear. I have to leave good, 
faithful Wong behind here. 

When she reached Vladivostock (November 10) 
after a stormy journey, the hills that surround its 
superb harbour were powdered with snow, and a 
snow-storm, two days later, covered the wooded 
islands, the wooded bays and wooded hills which 
with their deep and sheltered channels bewilder the 
stranger with snow eighteen inches deep. The whole 
aspect recalled rather Nova Scotia, with its deep 
blue water, than Asia. Her headquarters were with 
Mr. George Smith and his wife, trusted friends of the 
Russian Governor, and therefore influential on her 
behalf. After a few days, all obstacles to her intended 
expeditions disappeared. In these circumstances, the 
impression made upon her was one of good govern- 
ment and prosperity, though she noted the utter 
stagnation of thought on all the most interesting 


Of the Russian officials, both military and civil, she 
writes with grateful appreciation : 

They are beyond all description charming, cour- 
teous, hospitable, helpful, doing everything that 
kindness can do to further my projects. 

Obstacles of nature, however, still remained to impede 
her journeys by steamer, tarantass, and sledge to visit 
the Korean immigrants, for, as she wrote to Miss 
Cullen, the River Tumen on the north-east Korean 
frontier fairly baffled her ; the horses refused to ford 
it, and she was " beaten back, although aided by the 
whole military strength of Russia in that region ! " 

However, she satisfied herself of the prosperity of 
the Korean settlements. Cleanliness was enforced, a 
certain conformity to Christianity made profitable, an 
honest administration and safety for their earnings 
were secured to them ; and the Koreans, whom she 
had considered the dregs of a race, became prosperous 
farmers, with an excellent reputation for industry 
and good character. 

Another excursion was to the frontier of Chinese 
Manchuria. Here a reign of terror prevailed owing 
to the thousands of undisciplined Manchu troops at 
large. She did not succeed in reaching the Amur. 

Perhaps the most interesting of all her expeditions 
was to Ussuri, by the Trans-Siberian Railway. The 
extremely finished nature of this magnificent enter- 
prise, built for futurity, much impressed her, and she 
foretold an immense increase in the drift of population 
to Eastern Siberia and the commercial success of the 
colossal undertaking. 

She left for Nagasaki (Dec. 10) just a month 
after her landing at Vladivostock. Thence she jour- 
neyed to Osaka, and she remained there, or at Kioto, 

,895] BACK TO SEOUL 293 

till the end of the year. She gave up all thought 
of returning to England, and planned an extended 
missionary tour in China to follow on a brief residence 
at Seoul. Early therefore in January, 1895, she 
landed, after a very stormy passage, in Chemulpo. 
Here she found the Chinese quarter deserted and 
Japan very much in the ascendant, the roads safe, 
and the Japanese pegging out a railway. She tells 
Miss Cullen : 

I rode up to Seoul [Jan. 7], twenty-five miles, alone, 
in slight snow, being cared for at a military post 
halfway by some Japanese soldiers. If I receive a 
tenth part as warm a welcome in England as I have 
done in Korea on returning I should be glad ! I am 
staying with Mr. Hillier, the British representative 
[now Sir Walter Hillier, K.C.M.G.], and find the new 
regime wonderfully, absorbingly interesting, and I have 
all facilities for studying it. The weather is superb ; 
the severe cold suits me. I have freedom, and you 
know how I love that ! I have a Korean soldier of 
the Legation Guard to go out with me and carry my 
camera, and a horse, and a charming host. I study 
diplomatic reports, hear all I can, and am very sorry 
that I shall have to go as soon as a steamer or gun- 
boat for Nagasaki turns up. I am utterly steeped in 
the East. I think, take it altogether, that this journey 
is wider and more absorbing in its interests than any 
I have ever had. I am so thankful for my capacity 
for being interested. What would my lonely life be 
without it ? 

Then to Mr. Murray, a week later, she endorsed 
this growing interest in Korea : " Korea has taken 
more hold on me in a week now than in five 
months before." 

She continued : 

I hope to return later. Instead of going home this 
spring, I have decided to remain for this year in the 
Far East. I find it quite impossible to tear myself 
away. Possibly when the heat sets in I may repent; 


but my health has been so much better for the five 
months of winter cold, and I have been able to ride 
and walk as much as a person half my age could ! I 
purpose to go to Swatow and the Hakka country, and 
then to work my way northwards in China. Beyond 
that I have no plans. The transition state in Korea 
is most interesting. I daresay you have seen my 
letters in the Si James's Gazette. 

The letters to the St. James's Gazette here alluded 
to attracted, as the editor told her, great and in- 
fluential attention. He added : 

Your energy has placed the St. James's Gazette ahead 
of all its rivals, so far as full and accurate information 
from the seat of war in the East is concerned. 

Mrs. Bishop's five weeks in Seoul were full of 
activity, and the security which her host's care lent 
to her movements made them a succession of charm- 
ing hospitalities, from all quarters, rather than a time 
of solitary self-dependence and strenuous exertion. 
Having a pony and soldier at her disposal, she saw 
the city in all its windings and turnings, the beautiful 
country outside the gates, and several royal tombs, with 
their fine trees and avenues of stately stone figures. 
At the King's suggestion she went to photograph 
parts of the old and new palaces, long closed to 
foreigners, with half a regiment of soldiers as a guard 
of honour. 

She also assisted at a singular ceremony when the 
King, after much pressure from Japan, formally re- 
nounced, under circumstances of great solemnity, the 
suzerainty of China, and declared the independence of 
Korea. The royal procession followed the long road 
from the Palace between lines of Korean cavalry, who 
turned their faces to the wall and their backs and their 
ponies' tails to the King, and proceeded to a dark pine 


wood ; and here, under the shadow of the most sacred 
altar in Korea, and in the presence of vast and silent 
crowds of white-robed, black-hatted men, who had 
fasted and mourned for two previous days, he swore, 
by the spirits of his ancestors, to establish the reforms 
proposed by Japan. Subsequently, Mrs. Bishop had 
four very interesting audiences with the King and 
Queen, in the quaint and beautiful Kymg-Pok Palace. 
The Queen, who was credited with intriguing against 
Japan, possessed singular political influence, and ex- 
erted a strong sway over the weak-kneed King and 
others. In these interviews she was usually the 
spokeswoman, and impressed Mrs. Bishop vividly by 
her brilliant intelligence and force, and her grace and 
charming manner. With her glossy raven hair and keen 
bright eyes, she looked very well in a handsome full 
gown of mazarine blue, a full-sleeved bodice of crimson 
and blue, girdled and clasped with crimson and coral 
tassels. In a strictly private audience, which lasted 
over an hour, the King and Queen discussed the 
political situation with dignity and propriety, asked 
Mrs. Bishop many questions respecting the friendship 
of England's Queen for "poor Korea," and added, with 
touching simplicity, " England is our best friend." 

Before she left Seoul, the King and Queen sent her 
some beautiful and valuable gifts, amongst them two 
inlaid cabinets bound and decorated with wrought 
brass. On February 4 she left for Chemulpo, walking 
part of the way. At Mapu, she got into the jinr&isJta 
which had been following with her box, but the 
clumsy runner overturned it backwards, and the fall 
injured her spine so severely that she felt its effects all 
the spring and summer. A week's rest at Chemulpo 
was necessary, but on the i2th she went on board the 
Higo Maru for Nagasaki, where she stayed ten days 


with Mr. and Mrs. Fuller, and on the igth gave an 
address on " Korea and Manchuria." 

Three days later she embarked on the Empress 
of Japan for Hong Kong, to visit Bishop and 
Mrs. Burdon. On the way, while the steamer 
was anchored at the mouth of the Yangtze, an 
accumulation of letters reached her from Shanghai. 
She had almost given up hope of hearing from home, 
and her letters thither were full of appeals for the 
long-delayed news which she so eagerly desired, 
and this great packet overwhelmed her with delight. 
Two whole days she spent on board the steamer 
reading and answering letters. She reached the 
" Bishop's Palace" at Hong Kong, in tropical heat, on 
the 2/th, and found there a gathering of missionaries 
" Muirheads, Moules, Pruens, Mrs. Stewart, Miss 
Wedderburn" but she was too ill to sit up after 
dinner, and needed two people to help her out of 
her chair. In a letter to Miss Cullen, dated March i, 
she wrote : 

I have no plans after Hangchow and Shanghai. I 
have seen a paper on myself in Dr. Peirson's Review, 
for which I am very sorry, as it has completely shaken 
my faith in the accuracy of the statements made there. 
I send you a note of those which are altogether untrue. 
The religious papers are very much to blame for their 
careless statements. 

In spite of her bad health she lectured twice in 
Hong Kong, the first time on " Korea," at the City 
Hall, to a crowded audience ; the second time to the 
Hong Kong Literary Society upon " Lesser Tibet." 
Her plans were taking shape in the direction of what 
was practically a tour of inspection of missionary 
agencies, and her hosts set her on the way by 
accompanying her to Swatow, and by commending 

i8 9 5] HANGCHOW 297 

her to all the C.M.S. missionaries. She bore creden- 
tials, therefore, to the four great Protestant missions 
in China the Church Missionary Society, the London 
Missionary Society, the Chinese Inland Mission, and 
the Presbyterian Mission. Much of this tour was 
made by steamer or house-boat, the land parts chiefly 
in a chair. She travelled alone, but was welcomed 
at consulate or mission-house wherever she halted. 

She went by Swatow where Mr. Mackenzie secured 
a snapshot of her, as she arranged a group of natives 
to be photographed to Wukingfu, Amoy,and Foochow 
to Shanghai. Thence she travelled in a two-storeyed 
open-sterned boat to Hangchow, through country 
most attractive in the first flush of spring, where great 
lilac clusters of wistaria overhung the water, and 
through ancient waterways of large cities with deep 
eaves, overhanging balconies, steep stone bridges and 
flights of stairs. She was much impressed with Dr. 
Main's Hospital, Hangchow, and, speaking in 1897, 
she said : " It is a credit to a distinctly Christian 
agency, such as the Church Missionary Society, to 
be the possessor of the finest hospital in the East," 
and adding, " By the influence of Dr. Main a great 
many of the mandarins of Hangchow, and even the 
Viceroy of the province himself, have been won over 
to some sympathy with Western civilisation and to 
a belief in the superiority of Western medicine." 
Mrs. Main writes of this visit : 

My first introduction to Mrs. Bishop was in 1895, 
when she visited us here in Hangchow. Having 
known my husband in Edinburgh, where he studied 
medicine, and being deeply interested in medical 
missions, she came to see the work in which we are 
engaged. We found her most interesting and greatly 
enjoyed her visit, which lasted about ten days. Yet it 
was no easy matter to give her all the information she 


sought. We felt bound to give up our time almost 
entirely to her ; she needed and absorbed all our atten- 
tion, and the only drawback was this difficulty of giving 
her sufficient time. One thing that much impressed 
me was the minimum of baggage that accompanied 
her on her travels. Her powers of endurance and 
capacity to "rough it "were to us marvellous, but it 
was the secret of her getting about so easily as she 
did. She had a wonderful facility in making herself 
understood by the Chinese, though she did not know 
their language. She was a most enthusiastic photo- 
grapher, yielding to the fascination and excitement of 
developing her plates and toning her prints at night, 
midnight, and even early morning. She gave me my 
first lesson in photography, and was as pleased as 
could be to teach me how to develop, which she told 
me in the " dark room " was the most interesting part 
of it all. Her interest in medical mission work was 
very keen and wide-awake, and not least in China, a 
country which she told us had quite "captivated 
and enthralled her." She was a great stimulus to 
us in our work here ; her letters have been most 
sympathetic, and we feel her loss as that of a true 
and good friend. 

From Hangchow she went on, by canal and river, 
to the ancient historic town of Shao Hsing, with its 
beautiful environs, and the Rev. W. Gilbert Walshe 
says of her visit here : 

1 had the honour of entertaining Mrs. Bishop for a 
short period at Shao-hing. She proposed to stay for 
a night only ; but finding the city and neighbourhood 
full of interest, she consented to prolong her visit for 
nearly a week. It was characteristic of her spirit of 
independence that she declined all offer of escort, 
although the journey involved a long and disagreeable 
chair-ride from Hangchow to Si-hing, occupying 
several hours, and a night journey by boat, and her 
only companions on the latter were the Chinese boat- 
men, who, of course, did not understand a word of 
English. An amusing incident took place en route. 
Mrs. Bishop, who had been provided with provision 
for the journey bv her Hangchow friends, had her 
evening meal in the boat, and handed the remains 


i8 9 s] SHAO-HING 299 

of the chicken to the boatmen, who, supposing she 
required it to be carved in Chinese fashion for con- 
venience of transport from dish to mouth by " chop- 
sticks," soon brought it back to her, duly minced into 
fragments with a cleaver, and Mrs. Bishop had the 
utmost difficulty in persuading them that she had eaten 
enough barbarian fashion, and that she wished them 
to have the remainder. 

Her visit to me was very interesting, in every way. 
I introduced to her notice some new features of interest 
daily, and her stock of photographic plates soon came 
to an end in her endeavour to secure lasting pictures 
of the ancient buildings and monuments with which 
our city abounds. She usually rode in a sedan chair 
on her expeditions, and, though generally very much 
exhausted when the close of the day came, she ap- 
peared to be tireless so long as anything of interest 
remained to claim her attention. She was very easy 
to entertain, and my bachelor establishment had no 
difficulty in supplying her wants, so long as she was 
provided with indigestible things in the way of pastry. 
She generally breakfasted in her room, and rose late, 
retiring at night about n p.m. apparently quite worn 
out ; but she always had sufficient reserve of strength 
to occupy an extra hour or two in the development of 
her photographs. She carried a folding-chair specially 
constructed to support her back when she sat; this 
chair was broken when she arrived at Shao-hing, and 
she was surprised and delighted to find that the in- 
genuity of our local Chinese carpenter was quite equal 
to the task of repairing it. A special fancy of hers 
was the study of our local flora and fauna, and new 
varieties of trees and shrubs were her particular 
delight. Her absolute unconsciousness of fear was a 
remarkable characteristic ; and even in remote places, 
where large crowds assembled to witness her photo- 
graphic performances, she never seemed in the least 
to realise the possibility of danger. Had she done so, 
she would have missed a great deal of what she saw 
and learned. On more than one occasion I was con- 
scious of a feeling of nervousness, though I flattered 
myself that I knew something of the character of the 
people among whom I lived ; but even in the face of 
the largest and noisiest crowds, Mrs. Bishop proceeded 
with her photography and her observations as calmly 


as if she were inspecting some of the Chinese exhibits 
in the British Museum. 

On her return to the coast, via Ningpo, I insisted 
on escorting her by canal to the river, where a house- 
boat was to await her ; but she entirely declined to 
accept any further attention, and I reluctantly took 
leave of her there, with a journey of two days before 
her, to be accomplished without any companionship. 
I shall never forget the picture of the white-haired 
lady sitting alone in the front of the boat, as she 
waved her farewells it was so characteristic of her to 
stand alone and independent of help, even when most 
cheerfully volunteered. She would not even accept a 
reasonable provision for the journey, and contented 
herself with a few necessaries, including filtered water 
and some fresh eggs ; and as it happened she was not 
destined to enjoy even these, for, owing to her ignor- 
ance of the language, she was not able to express her 
wishes to the boatmen, and, as a result, they boiled 
the eggs in the filtered water for the first meal, 
leaving her without any drinking water for the rest of 
the journey. Mrs. Bishop was very anxious to con- 
ciliate the natives of whatever country she passed 
through, and when travelling in the interior of China 
she generally adopted a costume which was designed to 
fulfil the Chinese canons of good taste. The principal 
feature of it was a large, loose jacket, or mantle, of 
" pongee," which effectually disguised the figure of the 
wearer, but which, unlike Chinese garments generally, 
was furnished with most capacious pockets, in which 
she carried all sorts of travelling paraphernalia, in- 
cluding some articles of her own design. Amongst 
other things, she used to produce from one of the 
pockets a portable oil lamp, ready for use at a moment's 
notice, and it seemed rather remarkable that the oil 
did not leak. If I remember rightly, she carried a 
loaded revolver in another pocket as a protection 
against robbers, the result of some painful lessons not 
learned, I am happy to say, in China. 

Mrs. Bishop impressed me as being a woman of 
unusual gifts, not only as a speaker and writer, but 
also as an observer and collector of information, 
possessing so much courage and force of character 
as to make her practically fearless, undismayed by 
obstacles, and undeterred by physical weakness ; and 


yet there was nothing of that masculinity which is so 
common a feature in women who have made their 
mark in distinctively masculine fields of activity. Her 
nature was most sympathetic, and wherever she went 
her first consideration was to study the social con- 
dition of the country, the position of women, the 
treatment of the sick, etc., and to devise means for 
the alleviation of pain and disease. My association 
with her, though covering but a short period, will ever 
be one of my happiest memories. 

From Shao Hsing, having refused Mr. Walshe's 
escort, she went back to Shanghai by inland water- 
ways, through a region of great fertility, prosperity, 
and beauty, to Ningpo and its lovely lakes. Here, 
believing, as she did, that if the nations of the East 
are to be evangelised it must be by native agents, 
she was immensely interested in Mr. Hoare's splendid 
work of training young men as catechists, and perhaps 
eventually clergymen. 

When Mrs. Bishop arrived at Shanghai it was a 
great joy to her to find Mr. and Mrs. Bullock at the 
Consulate, where she made her headquarters for 
some time. She wrote to Mr. Murray while at 
Shanghai on May 27 : 

I have now been travelling in China for three months 
with great satisfaction and interest, and have got about 
a hundred photographs as a record of my journey. I 
have travelled quite alone, and have not met with 
anything disagreeable. I am just going to Japan for 
the summer, to go through a course of blisters for my 
spine, which I hurt considerably, more than three 
months ago. I have a project of some very serious 
travelling in the late autumn and winter, if these 
remedies are successful. 

To Miss Cullen she wrote: 

My interests have been solely among missions since 
I left Hong Kong. I liked and admired the English 
Presbyterians at Swatow and Wuking far more than 


any body of men and women that I have seen. In the 
Fukien Province a great deal of work is being done, 
but the most spiritual part by the fifty missionaries of 
the C.M.S. The China Inland missionaries as a rule 
are delightful, but they tell me that they are not 
meeting with marked success. " Success " is not a word 
to apply to any missions that I have seen. 

Mrs. Bishop's penetration convinced her that it is 
not those missionaries who live comfortably, and give 
a percentage of their time, strength, and zeal to the 
work, who truly interpret Christ to the Chinese. 
The Oriental conception of saintliness is outraged by 
this blend of "worldliness and other-worldliness." 
Those rather really set forth the message, which was 
sent to men of good will, who, like the Rev. David 
Hill, "one of the noblest and most sympathetic mis- 
sionaries who ever sought the welfare of the Chinese," 
live in a Chinese house, and dress and eat as natives. 
She wrote home after the conclusion of the operations 
in Manchuria and of the war between China and 
Japan : 

The Manchurian missionaries are in my black 
books. With whom did they leave those few sheep 
in the wilderness ? The Roman Catholic men and 
women all remained at their posts at Mukden and 

Mrs. Bishop was too large-minded and sincere to 
deny or blink the fact, that many of the Catholic 
priests were an example to their Protestant brethren, 
and that in China, at all events, most of them despised 
comfort and espoused poverty for Christ's sake. 



MRS. BISHOP left Shanghai in ss. Kaisow (June 4, 1895) 
for Nagasaki, intending to spend the summer in Japan. 
She went first to Osaka, and then to Tokyo, and from 
Osaka wrote to Miss Cullen commenting on the news, 
which had reached her, of Professor Blackie's death and 
funeral in March : " I was very fond of him. Doubtless 
the pure in heart has seen God." About herself she 
continues : 

I am ill with rheumatism and sciatica, and am going 
next week to Tokyo for the best advice and afterwards 
to some baths. My plan is to get quietness and 
seclusion if possible, and to wear Chinese dress, in 
which it is possible to be easy and comfortable. I am 
in rags and most of my stockings have no feet. My 
boots were so absolutely done that I had to wear straw 
shoes over them, but I have now got Japanese shoes. 
You would be surprised with my photos. I have made 
great advances lately and print with a highly enamelled 
surface like a professional. 

At Tokyo she was the guest of Bishop and Mrs. 
Bickersteth, the first of many visits to them. Of these 
Mrs. Bickersteth writes : 

It was in June 1895 that Mrs. Bishop first became 
our honoured guest in Tokyo, though both my husband 
and I had met her before in England. As the weeks 
and months went on, our acquaintance ripened into 
close friendship, and it was a great joy to us to know 



that she always looked on our house as her home in the 
Far East, returning to it once and again when wearied 
with her long journeyings. It is impossible to say 
what her friendship was to us, or how we rejoiced in 
intercourse with that cultured mind and loving heart, 
always full of sympathy for our concerns, whether of 
the Mission or of private life, and yet also delightfully 
ready to pour out her stores of knowledge and experi- 
ence, with a complete absence of self-consciousness 
and a perfect command of language which made listen- 
ing to her a treat indeed. Mrs. Bishop has left a 
charming record of her affectionate appreciation of my 
husband in the letter printed in his biography, while 
he on his side was singularly attracted by that gracious 
womanliness, which perhaps stands out as the most 
characteristic feature of our distinguished guest. I 
shall never forget a June day in 1895. Mrs. Bishop 
had discovered that it was my husband's birthday, and 
she brought to his study an envelope containing a 
cheque for the exact amount required to build an 
orphanage urgently needed by St. Hilda's Mission and 
very near our hearts. Her joy in giving was at 
least as great as ours in receiving, and it was crowned 
on the Eve of St. Michael's Day that same year when 
my husband assisted by some of the English and 
Japanese clergy solemnly dedicated to God's service 
the pretty and convenient Japanese house henceforth 
known as the " John Bishop Orphanage." It is not for 
me to speak of the personal devoutness and strong 
faith which were the background and ruling spring of 
her life, but it was these characteristics which made her 
wise counsel and sympathy so inestimable a blessing 
both in those Tokyo days and in after years when we 
met constantly as fellow-members of the Women's 
Committee of the Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel. The sadness and loneliness of Mrs. Bishop's 
life always struck me painfully and forcibly, not only 
in its brave battle against constant suffering and ill- 
health, but in its absence of any close ties of kindred 
since the two great sorrows of her life had come to her 
in quick succession. But this personal loneliness only 
seemed to quicken her power of loving sympathy with 
the joys as well as the sorrows of others, and those 
who were honoured with her friendship feel indeed 
that it is a gift of God in their lives. 


On July i, accompanied by a Japanese servant, she 
made her way a journey of eight hours to Ikao, the 
mountain village where she purposed to spend two 
months for the sake of the neighbouring thermal 
springs. At first she lived in the inn, but soon after 
her arrival she rented a small Japanese house, where 
her time was chiefly occupied in working at her book 
on Korea and in developing, toning, and enamelling 
photographs. The weather was not propitious, for 
she writes to Mr. Murray (August 5) that there had 
been ceaseless rain or mist for twenty-nine days with 
the exception of eight hours, but she adds : 

The quiet is delightful. Japan is wonderful. Her 
solid advance in seventeen years is most striking, and 
she is quiet and dignified and keeps her head. She 
is impressively civilised. 

Fortunately, after the middle of August, the skies 
cleared gloriously and, for a month, she could take 
long walks and photograph temples, villages, and lakes. 
Then she went back to stay with Bishop and Mrs. 
Bickersteth at Tokyo, where she saw a great deal of 
her old friend Sir Ernest Satow ; and early in October, 
hearing rumours of the assassination of the Korean 
Queen, she left for Korea, after some difficulty about 
her passport. She went up at once to Seoul, to stay 
with Mr. Hillier at the British Legation, and there she 
found events and rumours of the most exciting kind 
prevalent in the city. 

The Eastern drama had moved rapidly since early 
in February, when Mrs. Bishop left Seoul. The fall of 
Wei-hai-wei, and the capture of the Chinese navy, had 
established the supremacy of Japanese arms in the Far 
East, and led to the peace of May, 1895, by which 
nominal independence was secured to Korea. But, the 
immediate result was the transference to Japan of the 



role of mentor and guide of the Hermit Kingdom. 
Japan instituted much-needed reforms in Korea and 
sincerely endeavoured to realise them ; but she lacked 
both the necessary experience and the tact to carry 
them through. One of her agents damaged Japan's 
prestige and position incalculably by embarking on 
Oriental intrigues, which led to the extinction of the 
only element of strength and of political power at the 
Korean Court. Mrs. Bishop found that the Queen, 
that charming, unscrupulous, ill-fated Queen, whom 
she had seen and admired for her ability had indeed 
been murdered^ and that the amiable, but weak and 
timid King was now a prisoner in his palace, in daily 
dread of sharing her fate. A coup d'etat of a momentous 
character was believed to be impending, and it was 
hoped that Japan might receive a mandate from the 
Powers to put an end to the confusion which reigned. 
Mrs. Bishop, however, had very little time at her 
disposal before starting on the long-planned journey 
to Western China, and she wanted first to explore 
North-west Korea, and to visit the scene of the Japanese 
victory at Pyong-yang, where her friend General Tso 
fell (September, 1894), with the flower of the Chinese 
army. So, having devoted a fortnight to watching the 
political drama and to collecting accurate information 
about it, she, with much regret, made up her party for 
a month's journey. An excellent interpreter, Mr. 
Yi-Hak-In to whose bright intelligence and sense of 
humour she attributed much of the pleasure as well as 
the interest of the journey a soldier servant provided 
by Mr. Hillier from the Legation guard, three saddle 
ponies with their mapu or grooms, and two baggage 
animals, constituted her caravan. She dressed as nearly 
as possible in Korean dress, and describes her journey, 
which she considered singularly bright and prosperous, 


most graphically in Korea and Her Neighbours (vol. ii. 
pp. 78-171). The weather was glorious indeed she 
says " it may be taken for granted that every Korean 
winter's day is splendid," and the worst that could be 
said of the scenery was that it looked " monotonously 
pretty " in the brilliant sunshine. Her general impres- 
sion of the Korean landscape was that on the whole it 
lacked life and emphasis ; but the fertile country, with 
low but shapely hills (where deep-eaved, brown- 
thatched roofs clustered near clear-running streams 
and dark clumps of pine and glowing crimson maple), 
was now and then broken by romantic ravines ter- 
minating in steep bluffs, over deep green streams, 
or by fine views of lofty dog-tooth peaks and of 
serrated ranges, some of which she crossed. The 
still, faintly blue atmosphere idealised everything, 
and she notes the artistic effect of " sails of boats 
passing dreamily into the mountains over the silver 
water," and of stretches where the vegetation had 
" turned to a purple as rich as English heather blos- 
som, while the blue gloom of the pines emphasised 
the flaming reds of the dying leafage." But irredeem- 
ably monotonous were the dull, dazed apathy and 
ill manners of the native population, and the dismal 
squalor of the towns and incredible dirt and discomfort 
of the native houses, where she cheerfully bore annoy- 
ances, with which she thinks it doubtful if any European 
man would have put up. The one redeeming feature 
of the miserable dens she lived in appears to have 
been their warmth, for even if " the mercury fell 
to freezing point outside, the hot floor kept the 
inside temperature up to 80 deg." The contrast 
between nature and humanity perhaps accounts for 
Mrs. Bishop's remark that " Korea takes a strong grip 
on all who reside in it sufficiently long to overcome 


the feeling of distaste which at first it undoubtedly 

She twice visited Pyong-yang, the second capital of 
Korea, which is of vast antiquity and stands in a 
magnificent situation, of which advantage is skilfully 
taken. The first view delighted her : the plain was 
blue and violet melting into a blue haze, " the crystal 
waters of the river were bluer still, brown-sailed boats 
drifted lazily with the stream, and above, the grey 
mass of the city rose into a dome of unclouded blue." 
Her account of the assault and massacre of the pre- 
vious September, and of the American Mission here, 
forms the most interesting episode in her record of 
this journey. 

The missionaries had found their work very dis- 
couraging until after the war, when a great interest 
awoke in the minds of the Koreans, and numbers turned 
to the Gospel as to a refuge. Mrs. Bishop said " it 
seemed more to realise the Pentecostal days than any- 
thing I have ever seen," and speaking in 1901 she gave 
an interesting detailed account of this movement : 

I spent a year in Korea at different times. When 
I first went there I thought it one of the most hopeless 
countries I had ever seen. Then came the war between 
China and Japan. It was supposed that the infant 
beginnings of Christianity would be swamped by that 
war and the events which followed it. But the contrary 
was the case ; and I cannot do better than say what I 
saw in the west of Korea, in the town of Pyong-yang 
a town of sixty thousand people, reputed to be the 
richest and wickedest city in Korea, a great commercial 
centre in a very green and fruitful country and grain- 
producing neighbourhood. Before the Japanese entered 
it, and defeated the Chinese just outside its walls in a 
bloody battle, about fifty thousand of the population 
fled. Nothing showed more what the ravages 01 war are 
than that a merely friendly occupation by the Japanese 
should have ruined a thriving city. There was scarcely 


one stone left upon another that had not been thrown 
down. The troops used the roofs, the beams, the 
joists, and windows all the woodwork, in fact for 
their bivouac fires, and had destroyed the city without 
war. When I first went there, people were trying 
vainly to find out where they had once lived. At 
Py5ng-yang there had been made twenty-eight converts, 
but converts by no means enlightened, or satisfactory. 
They fled, and the peril they underwent deepened 
their Christianity, and they went to the villages of the 
north and preached there. They had Gospels with 
them. In some villages they left a Gospel behind 
them ; perhaps they had more than one. In the place 
where the greatest work went on, it was simply the 
Gospel of St. Mark that had been left. This was read 
aloud in the evenings, and the men assembled to hear ; 
and after a time they decided that St. Mark told of the 
true God, and the demons were evil spirits who were 
to be no more worshipped. The women were desirous 
of preserving the fetishes, but they gave way at last ; 
and the fetishes, which had received the adoration of 
generations, were destroyed. No calamity followed 
this ; and the people after a time built a hovel in order 
that they might pray to God in the evenings. One can 
imagine what kind of prayers they were. Then one 
old man decided that he would send his grandson to 
Mr. Moffatt, the missionary in Pyong-yang, to hear 
more of what was known as " the way." 

When I returned to Pyong-yang Mr. Moffatt had 
quite a number of young men from different villages 
where Gospels had been left, living in a barn, being 
instructed for six hours a day. And these young men 
told the story of how the Gospel had come how the 
Gospel had come to every one of them through the 
written Word of God, without a teacher. And it had 
been the power of God unto salvation, as it is the 
power of God unto salvation to every one. Pyong- 
yang itself was changed. The church, which held 
three hundred, had been enlarged in the meantime by 
the exertions of the people themselves. It has been 
enlarged three times since and a new one built. The 
anxiety to hear the Word of God and get the Word in 
PyOng-yang was something wonderful. Old things 
have passed away, for some of the worst characters 
have been transformed. I think at the time I was 


there there were nearly 1,800 seeking baptism; but 
now I suppose there are nearly 4,000 in that part 
of Korea. I do not think there is any part of the 
world where the Gospel is making such rapid progress 
as in this poor, dark, oppressed, demon-worshipping 

On December 6 Mrs. Bishop reached the familiar 
harbour of Chemulpo, in a glorious frosty sunset, 
having come down part of the way from Pyong-yang 
in a small Japanese steamer which she had insisted on 
boarding, unaware that it had been impressed for 
transport purposes. She went on the following day 
to Seoul, where she halted for a fortnight. 

When she left Korea at Christmas time, it was on 
board the Genkai Maru bound for Shanghai. Here 
once more she was welcomed at the Consulate by 
Mr. and Mrs. Lowndes Bullock, who assisted her to 
make arrangements for the celebrated journey up the 
Yangtze and in Western China, which, occupying in 
all five months, supplied material for her book on 
The Yangtze Valley and Beyond. The further venture, 
into the mountains which buttress the lofty levels of 
Tibet, beyond the Chinese frontier-post into the 
country of the Man-tze where she lingered several 
weeks added much to her knowledge of the empire 
and its debatable border territory. 

True to her constant desire to get as quickly as 
possible out of a foreign settlement in the East, and 
into the freedom beyond the pale, Mrs. Bishop soon 
left the kindly hospitality of the Shanghai Consulate 
(Jan. 10, 1896) for her deeply interesting voyage by 
steamer and houseboat, 300 miles up the Yangtze. 
She went, first, five days' steamer journey to Ichang, 
stopping on the way at Hankow, an abominably 
dirty treaty port, protected by a dyke, 46 feet high, 

1896] ON THE YANGTZE 311 

from the perennial summer rise of the stream. The 
great river was now at its lowest, and the midwinter 
sunless days were rather tedious as she steamed up 
between the high grey mud-banks, which hid the 
surrounding country, and through shallow meres and 
fen-like flats of muddy land, where the steamer 
frequently grounded on a mud-bank. But both 
monotony and civilisation were left behind, with the 
steamer, when she reached Ichang, standing high on 
the river bank, with a fine background of fantastic 
peaks. Here, she had her first glimpse of the life 
of a Roman Catholic mission station and realised the 
anguish of loneliness which some of their workers 
endure, living and dying among the natives in isolation 
and self-sacrifice. But in spite of their self-denial, 
and the celibacy, poverty, and asceticism that always 
appeal powerfully to the Oriental mind, she was 
struck with their growing unpopularity. This she 
attributed in part to their political ambitions. 

She was detained at Ichang some days, and then 
began an exciting and perilous journey in a flat- 
bottomed houseboat, with tall mast and sail and 
projecting rudder. For seventeen days Mrs. Bishop 
was rowed, or towed, by sixteen boatmen, or trackers, 
through a succession of grand, gigantic gorges, whose 
precipitous sides rose sometimes sheer 2,000 feet 
before they culminated in splendid splintered peaks. 
Sometimes the precipices retreated, leaving the river 
room to expand into lake-like stretches, with pleasant 
brown farmhouses on the banks, half seen amongst 
orange-groves and orchards. A Chinese Switzer- 
land she calls it, " one long glory and sublimity," and 
the villages, along the water's edge, reminded her of 
Como and Varenna. But she had been warned, at 
Ichang, that the perilous waters of the Upper Yangtze 


contained few reaches where rapids, races, and 
rock-broken water would leave her time to do much 
besides look after her own safety. And she found 
that the risks and perils fully warranted the worst 
description. At the great cataract of Hsin-lan, where 
the dangers of the river are centred, she marvelled 
that any one should ever have contemplated sur- 
mounting such a thing of awe and majesty, a waterfall 
with a boiling cataract below. The Yangtze, however, 
is the sole highway for the vast commerce of the 
richest district of China, Sze-Chuan, a prosperous 
province the size of France, and the patient per- 
sistence of the Chinese character surmounts even this 
obstacle. But of the thousands of junks which 
attempt the passage, towed up by as many as 120 
trackers, or shooting down the rapids like a flash, 
one in twenty is annually lost. She herself saw 
more than one big junk 

strike a rock while flying down a rapid and dis- 
appear as if she had been blown up, her large crew, 
at the height of violent effort the moment before, 
with all its frantic noisy accompaniments, perishing 
with her. 

In the last of the great gorges she passed through, 
before her three weeks' journey ended at Wan-Hsien, 
there was no foothold for the towing trackers, and 
the boat was dragged up, inch by inch, against a 
tremendous current, clawed along by hooks attached 
to the boatmen's poles, " and terrible, she says, "was 
the straining of these poor fellows on the rough and 
jagged rocks." On Ash Wednesday, a fine white 
nine-storeyed pagoda on the bank announced their 
approach to the city of Wan-Hsien ; and its burst of 
beauty as her boat rounded a sudden bend was, she 
says, one of the unforgettable views of China. The 


From a photograph by Mrs. Bisliop. 

,896] THE MYRIAD CITY 313 

superbly impressive and stately city, with temple 
and pagoda-crowned cliffs and heights, rises out of 
woods backed by the precipices which encircle a lake- 
like basin of the broad river, as it disappears among 
the blue and misty mountains. The " Myriad City " 
is the foremost of the many prosperous cities of 
Western China, and she felt that, for position and 
appearance, it ranked high among the cities of the 

The officials here had always been notoriously 
antagonistic to foreigners, and the mission work 
was purely pioneer, in a city so hostile that one of 
the missionaries had lately been badly beaten ; the 
ladies of the China Inland Mission, where Mrs. 
Bishop stayed, never went outside the compound. 
A new chief magistrate had, however, arrived, with 
orders to treat foreigners civilly, so all was changed. 
Mrs. Bishop was able to take many photographs of 
the steep, picturesque city, its temples and beautiful 
bridges, and of the lovely villages which delighted 
her eye, built irregularly on torrent sides, draped 
with clematis and maidenhair, or perched within 
fortifications on the flat tops of the truncated sand- 
stone hills. 

Here, Mrs. Bishop turned her back on the river 
and left, in a carrying chair, on a further journey 
of 300 miles to Paoning-fu. Having failed to find 
a European free to accompany her, she decided to 
venture alone and to buy her own experience. 

She writes to Miss Cullen (February 23, 1896) : 

To-morrow I start on a long land journey with my 
servant and seven coolies. It will be nearly twenty 
days before I reach the next mission station. Tra- 
velling by land and sleeping at Chinese inns is a 
novelty which I regard with some trepidation. I think 
my journey round to Chunking will take two and 


a half months. The mandarin here gives me an 
escort, as the road in its earlier stages is disturbed. 
China is very interesting and terrifying. 

On the way she was exposed to constant curiosity 
and much hostility. She was carried the whole time 
in an open sedan chair^ wearing the big Japanese 
hat which she regarded as the ideal travelling hat : 
this was perhaps rather indiscreet, as her appearance 
roused a certain suspicion, amongst the crowds who 
pressed round her. In almost every place the officials 
did their best to protect her ; but once, at any rate, 
she felt she had only escaped with her life, from the 
animosity of the populace, by barricading herself in 
her room. After this, she found it wiser not to put 
up at the usual halting-places, and instead she stopped 
for the night, in country villages, where the people 
were quiet and harmless, and where she learnt much 
of their ways and their views on missions and other 
topics that interested her. She reduced her food to 
two meals a day one of tea and boiled flour before 
starting, and one of rice at the end of her day's 
stage; several times she slept wet to the skin and 
rolled in her blanket ; and twice at least her servant, 
reporting on the accommodation he had secured 
for the night, announced, " You will not like your 
room to-night, Mrs. Bishop it is in the pigs' house." 
She was quite conscious that her equipments and 
manner of living were rougher than they had ever 
been before, and that she had reached " bed rock "to 
quote a telling bit of American slang ; but the scenery 
alone, she felt, repaid her for the many hardships, 

She was glad indeed, nevertheless, when the soft 
afternoon sunshine revealed to her the temple roofs 
and gate towers of Paoning-fu rising out of dense 
greenery and a pink mist of peach blossom. 


In the distance appeared two Chinese gentlemen, 
whose walk, as they approached, gave me a suspicion 
that they were foreigners ; and they proved to be 
Bishop Cassels, the youngest and one of our latest 
consecrated Bishops, and his coadjutor, Mr. Williams, 
formerly Vicar of St. Stephens, Leeds, who had come 
to welcome me. 

Paoning-fu was a great centre of the China Inland 
Mission, which in this part of Sze-Chuan is entirely 
Anglican, and Dr. Cassels, a well-known Cambridge 
athlete, and one of the pioneer missionaries in the 
interior, presided over some sixty Anglican-clergy. He 
had recently returned from his consecration in West- 
minster Abbey, and his devoted native congregation 
had presented him with the hat of a Chinese Master 
of Arts and a pair of high boots which he was careful 
to wear, and which gave him in Mrs. Bishop's eyes 
" the picturesque aspect of a marauding middle age 

He says : 

I was very much struck with Mrs. Bishop's bravery 
in travelling in an open chair. She came right across 
from Wan-Hsien on the Yangtze to my station, a ten 
days' journey, without other escort than that of a 
Chinese servant, who knew just a little English. Hear- 
ing of her coming, my colleague, the Rev. E. O. Williams, 
and I went out to meet her. Besides the open chair, 
which in itself rather attracted the curiosity of the 
Chinese, she was wearing a big Japanese sun-hat, and 
the two together made her journey less pleasant than 
it might otherwise have been. Mrs. Bishop stayed 
in the ladies' house at Paoning, but came over several 
times to our humble abode. Whilst with us she 
expressed her feeling that we ought to have a hospital 
at Paoning. I took her to see one or two houses, and 
she most kindly and generously sent me later on a 
cheque for 100 towards founding a hospital as the 
Henrietta Bird Hospital. It was shortly afterwards 
opened, and is now in the charge of Dr. William 


Mrs. Bishop felt that this new and interesting journey 
in Sze-Chuan had opened a fresh page in her knowledge 
of missions ; and though she could not approve all she 
saw and on her return never failed to make helpful 
friendly criticisms to those ultimately responsible and 
able to rectify blunders yet, throughout the journey, 
she noted with pleasure the pains taken by the mis- 
sionaries of the China Inland Mission to avoid any 
violation of Chinese customs. Their houses were built 
in the native fashion, there was no aggressive wounding 
of Chinese prejudices, and they were careful to observe 
all the Chinese courtesies. 

From Paoning-fu she went on by chair to Kuan- 
Hsien, a long stage on which she had the great 
advantage of being accompanied by Dr. Horsburgh, 
whose self-sacrifice and unbounded devotion to the 
work she considered beyond praise, though she could 
not endorse all his methods. It was a great satisfac- 
tion to Mrs. Bishop to hear later that Dr. Horsburgh 
had been so successful in modifying the native 
hostility that his workers had not to fly during the 
riots of 1901. 

Unfortunately during this stage of her journey she 
met with an accident which left its traces for some 
time, and which was perhaps due to a less careful 
regard for native prejudices on Mrs. Bishop's part 
than that exercised by the missionaries. Mrs. Bishop 
was hit, on the back of her head, by a stone flung 
with considerable force. Dr. Horsburgh writes: 

My wife was the only foreigner with her when she 
was hit. The people did not wish, I think, to cause 
injury, but they were annoyed because the chair- 
bearers would not stop. They wanted to see 
Mrs. Bishop, who was an object of much interest. 
Mrs. Bishop used to have her meals out in the narrow 
street, sitting in her sedan chair with the foreign 

1896] THE TA-LU 317 

feeding appliances about her. The people stood and 
gazed, but always, I believe, respectfully. 

Mrs. Bishop's own impression was that she was 
regarded with hostility, and certainly the stone which 
struck the back of her head was hurled with sufficient 
impetus to leave its mark, and unfortunately its effects, 
for nearly a year. 

For some days Mrs. Bishop's way had lain along the 
Ta-lu, the great flagged imperial road from Pekin to 
Chengtu, which a thousand years ago must have been 
a noble work. The road is nominally sixteen feet wide, 
and more than a millennium back an emperor planted 
beautiful red-stemmed cedars, at measured distances, 
on either side. Many of the trees, all marked with the 
imperial seal, and counted annually by the magistrates, 
have attained an enormous size ; and the days spent 
under their solemn shade were, she says, halcyon days 
of delightful travelling without any drawbacks, in 
beautiful weather and a bracing atmosphere. At 
Kuan Hsien again there was a special charm for her 
from its being the starting-point of the wonderful 
engineering works, the oldest and perhaps the most 
important in China. Here many centuries ago lived 
Li Ping, one of the great philanthropic benefactors 
of the Chinese people. By dividing the waters of the 
cold crystal stream of the Min, and by an elaborate 
system of irrigation works, he redeemed the noble 
plain of Chengtu from drought and flood for two 
thousand years. This vast plain, the richest in China, 
and perhaps in the world, is a singular and unrivalled 
picture of rustic peace and prosperity, and the popula- 
tion of four millions depends for its very existence on 
the maintenance of the irrigation works which Li Ping 
carried out long before the Christian era. Without 
these the east and west of the plain would be a marsh, 


and the north a waterless desert. A beautiful shrine 
is dedicated to this great man, to whose motto, " Dig 
the bed deep, keep the banks low," faithfully carried 
out for twenty-one centuries, boundless fertility and 
wealth is due. His shrine, roofed with green glazed 
tiles, delighted Mrs. Bishop with its picturesque 
appearance. It stands behind the town in a romantic 
gorge, through which, on a very fine bamboo suspen- 
sion bridge, the road carrying all the trade from Tibet 
enters the country ; and the beautiful pavilions and 
minarets, amongst stately lines of cryptomeria, formed, 
she says, the most fascinating group of buildings in the 
Far East, combining the grace and decorative witchery 
of the shrines at Nikko with a grandeur and stateliness 
of their own. 

This was not the only time that Mrs. Bishop had 
noted instances where individuals in China have carried 
out benevolent instincts, or sought to " accumulate 
merit," by helping their fellow men. And the gigantic 
scale on which organised charities are carried out, and 
the patience and persevering self-denial with which 
they are administered, by small and great, in most of 
the cities in China, moved her admiration. Foundlings, 
orphans, the blind, the aged, strangers, drowning per- 
sons, the destitute, and the dead are all objects of an 
infinite variety of organised benevolence ; and though 
the methods were not our methods, yet they were, she 
thought, none the less praiseworthy. True, she found 
that the Chinese failed obviously in acts of personal 
kindliness and goodwill, the charities being usually on 
a large scale and for the benefit of human beings in 
masses, and the individual lost sight of. But, in this 
respect, she felt they were only on a par with much 
easy charity by proxy at home. 
The view of the clear sparkling Min, breaking forth 


from its long imprisonment in the mountains, and of 
the magnificent mountains behind with snow peaks 
tinged pink in the early sun from which issued the 
caravans of yaks, bearing the trade from Tibet, inspired 
Mrs. Bishop with a desire "to break away from the 
narrow highways, the crowds, and the oppressive 
curiosity" of China proper, and she determined to 
extend her journey, up the western branch of the Min, 
into the mountainous borderland between China and 
Tibet, and to see Tibetans, yaks, rope-bridges, and 
aboriginal tribes. She went first, however, to Chengtu, 
in the plain, escorting a missionary lady whose nerves 
had suffered much during the anti-foreign riots of the 
previous summer. At that time, four of the ladies had 
been hidden, for eleven weeks during the hottest 
season, in a room without a window, and one of the 
young wives had escaped with her three infants to a 
ledge above the river, whilst her husband kept the 
mob at bay ; and Mrs. Bishop felt that no one, who had 
listened to the howling of a Chinese mob, could be 
surprised to hear that some of the ladies utterly broke 
down, and one, at least, lost her reason from the 
prolonged anxiety. 

She wrote during this journey to Miss Cullen : 

I daresay you think I say too little about missions. 
There are many problems connected with them, which 
grow in difficulty as missions spread and increase. 
The one which specially afflicts me is the waste of 
working power, and the scandal among natives caused 
by the ceaseless marryings and maternities of mis- 
sionary women making an end of work ; and not 
only this, but that in inland China many of the 
best of the single ladies have much of their time 
occupied nursing the mothers five and six months 
after each baby is brought into the world. In one 
small mission two ladies came out four years ago, and 
one three years ago, each giving up useful homework. 


Each tells me that she has never had time to begin 
Chinese with a teacher, far less mission work, owing to 
these babies. Do people at home contribute, they ask, 
to send out monthly nurses, who must remain so for 
four to six months at a time or missionaries ? There 
are various reforms absolutely necessary, and none 
know it better than the missionaries themselves, but 
any one suggesting them would be thought an enemy. 
The missionary army as represented on paper has 
perhaps an effective strength of one-half. My en- 
quiries are most carefully made and solely among 

Before leaving Chengtu as it stood, on a sunny 
April day, in the middle of the blossoming poppy 
crops, " where waves of colour on slope and plain 
rolled before the breeze," Mrs. Bishop wrote to 
Mr. Murray a resume of her intended journey : 

The voyage up the Yangtze to Wan-Hsien, and nine 
hundred miles overland since, have taken three months. 
I intended to return from this point, but, as I cannot 
go home till the cool weather, I am planning to travel 
three hundred miles northwards, and then to come 
down to Ta-chien-lu by a route taken by an Austrian 
traveller, which brings me among many of the Tibetan 
and aboriginal tribes. I had no intention of being a 
Chinese traveller, but have drifted into it. 

Accordingly on the i2th she turned northward 
again, up the Min into the mountains, to the border- 
lands between the Chinese official frontier and the 
east of Tibet, peopled by the half independent Man-tze 
tribes. The forests, rivers, mountain passes, and old 
castles delighted her, and she made many observations 
of the people and their customs. She thoroughly 
enjoyed her adventures in the " altitudes and free- 
dom" of the mountains, and revelled in the "clear 
escape from the crowds and cramped grooviness of 
China." The inns were better, the air keen and 
bracing, and the hardy mountaineers, with pleasant 



faces, minds, and manners, took her at times for a 
Man-tze of a different tribe, and treated her with 
a polite friendliness that created an atmosphere 
delightful to breathe. She was equally attracted by 
the thick carpets of sky-blue dwarf iris, white and blue 
anemones, yellow violas, primulas and lilies, climbing 
roses red and white, and orchids and exotic ferns, 
amongst which she recognised lovingly our own 
filix mas, osmunda regalis, and lily of the valley. Far 
above, countless peaks cleft the blue sky in absolute 
purity of whiteness, then the sun went down in 
glory and colour, and there was a perfect blaze of 
stars in the purple sky. The " beyond " beckoned her 
on ; and though she knew her travelling arrangements 
were so inherently unsuitable that they must break 
down, yet, so long as it was physically possible, she 
was prepared to follow. 

Of one incident Mrs. Bishop gave a very graphic 
account : 

After going up the Yangtze, and travelling by land 
several hundred miles, I went beyond China proper 
into the country of the Man-tze. When I reached 
the mountains, there was a mountain pass, and a great 
storm came on. The torrent I had to pass was 
swollen and it was impossible to cross it. There was 
no inn in the village and it was very poor. My ser- 
vant succeeded in getting shelter for me from the rain 
which was falling in torrents, and I slept there in a 
shed for one night. He came back presently and said, 
" There are Christians in this village, Mrs. Bishop." 
You know how faithless and unbelieving one is ; and 
I said, " Christians ! Nonsense ; no Europeans have 
ever been here, far less missionaries." He looked 
rather sulky as he went out of the shed, but came 
back after a time and said, " There are Christians 
here, and it is a Christian village ; and the head man 
and the elders are coming to see you presently." 
And they came, and were very anxious to find out 
if I were a Christian. . . . However, I satisfied them 



by showing my Bible. My servant was a Christian 
too. And they stayed for an hour and a half: and the 
story that one of them told was among the most 
interesting I ever heard. 

The man was a carpenter ; he had worked for three 
months in Sze-Chuan in the house of a missionary, 
and had a copy of the Gospels given to him when he 
went away. He had also had a certain amount of 
instruction from the catechist who was with the 
missionary. After the instruction given him by the 
catechist, he went to his own home several hundred 
miles further west, and took the Gospels with him. 
He gathered the men together every evening, and 
read the Gospels aloud. There was a fulfilment of 
the promise: "The idols He shall utterly abolish," 
for many of the idols of that village had been 
destroyed owing to the reading of the simple 
Word. There were only a few men in the 
whole village who were not in deed and truth 
Christians, and my servant, who was a very shrewd 
man, remarked how different that village was from 
others that there was no attempt to cheat and take 
advantage ; and he said that he did not think he had 
been told one lie. They had learned so much from 
the New Testament that they were very anxious to 
get a missionary to come and give them instruction 
and baptism. I told them this was not possible. But 
I believe that those men, by working at night and 
saving their money, and denying themselves the usual 
amount of food, saved enough to take them to the 
nearest mission station, which was far, far away, 
where they would receive the good things for which 
their souls were yearning. 

She summed up the events of the journey to Mrs. 
Bullock as follows : 

My journey has been much chequered, very in- 
teresting, but at times far from pleasant. I went 
beyond the limits of China proper into the Somo 
country, and was for three weeks in the grandest 
scenery I ever saw Switzerland and Kashmir rolled 
into one. My health stood the hardships of Chinese 
travelling very well, but unfortunately an over- 
exertion in crossing a very high mountain pass has 


From a photograph by Mrs. Bishop. 

1896] RETURN VOYAGE 323 

greatly aggravated the heart disease from which I 
suffered for four years. 

Mrs. Bishop's plan of return was frustrated by 
contrary circumstances. Several bridges, on her 
intended route, were destroyed in a tribal war, her 
wretched coolies collapsed, and the Man-tze authorities 
did their best to baffle her intentions by refusing 
provisions for the further journey ; so she was 
compelled to return, rather disgusted, to Chengtu. 
She writes to Miss Cullen : " Much I wish I were 
out of China, in which I have spent altogether fourteen 
months." She left Chengtu (May 20) with the mercury 
at 90, in a small flat-bottomed wupan, with a partial 
matting cover, drawing four inches of water. This 
was the beginning of a river journey of 2,000 miles, 
"back," as she says, "to bondage." The voyage, by 
Sinfu, Louchon, and Chunking, was entirely propi- 
tious and delightful first through beautiful country, 
where black-and-white farmhouses reminded her of 
Cheshire, where fruit-trees, mulberries, bamboos and 
pines, and smooth, fine lawns edged the sparkling 
water, and the air was scented by gardenia shrubs 
and the flowers of the bean. The boat sped along, 
down-stream, at the rate of 130 miles in 17 hours, 
and in ten days she reached the western-most of the 
treaty ports. Here, the force and volume of the 
river, which had risen 45 feet since she passed up, 
was tremendous, and, caught in its torrent, the wupan 
descended at great speed. When they reached the 
rapids, five men pulled frantically to keep steerage 
way on her, and they went down like a flash, past 
races and whirlpools, temples and grey cities on 
heights, villages, hills, and woodlands, for days. There 
was no time to take in anything. By the end of 
June she reached Shanghai, to find, to her great 


disappointment, that Mr. and Mrs. Bullock were away 
at Chefoo ; but she spent some days there with 
Mrs. Joy, and on June 23 gave a brief account of 
her travels in Sze-Chuan, to an interviewer for the 
North China Daily News, whose description of her 
is worth recording : 

Mrs. Bishop [he says] is a retiring, soft-voiced 
woman, whose silver hair is a passport to respect 
amongst all but a Chinese mob, and she has reached 
a period of life when physical comforts might be fairly 
expected. But when she begins to talk, selecting her 
words with the nicest discrimination, she at once 
exercises a sort of spell over the listener, making him 
feel the power of her intellect and the acuteness of 
her observing powers. Then we recognise that Mrs. 
Bishop is a wonderful woman, possessing an unsus- 
pected force with which to overcome the most 
forbidding obstacles. 

She wrote to Mrs. Bullock : 

I am obliged to avoid all exertion, and to give up 
the idea of going home by America. So I purpose to 
leave for Japan as soon as possible, and to remain in 
some mountain hotel in the north till the cool season 
begins. Missionaries on going home are often called 
"returned empties," and I feel myself one. I have not 
read a book or seen a newspaper since January 17. 

Thus ended her Chinese journeyings. She had 
travelled eight thousand miles, and spent fifteen 
months in China, during three of the most important 
years of modern Chinese history, and she was deeply 
grateful for the keen and abiding interest in China, and 
the Chinese, which she had acquired, along with new 
views of the country and of the resourcefulness and 
energy, capacities and backbone of its inhabitants. 
She was much impressed with the terrible and 
growing extension of poppy culture and the opium 
habit, and came to believe that even moderate opium 
smoking involves enormous risks, and that excessive 


smoking brings in its train such ruin and deterioration 
as to threaten the national well-being and the physical 
future of the race. Nevertheless, she did not believe 
that China was then breaking up or in decay. 
Officialism was, she says, corrupt ; but the people 
were straight and the country growing wealthier 
every day. On the whole, peace, order, and prosperity 
prevailed, and the Chinese were " practically one of 
the freest and most democratic people on earth." The 
war with Japan had produced a remarkable effect, in 
opening the eyes of the Chinese to the advantages 
accruing, to a yellow nation, from the adoption of 
Western civilisation. The Western leaven, she felt, 
was beginning to work, and China was on the eve of 
a great awakening, of which, however, the result was 
still uncertain. She believed that Christianity might 
bring about the regeneration of China ; but she thought 
that, if Christian nations failed to take advantage of the 
promising opportunity and did not enter in force with 
an army of teachers, China might accept civilisation 
and reject the Christian religion. 
To Mr. Murray she writes : 

I have seen nothing to change my opinion that 
medical missions are the most effective pioneers of 
Christianity. . . . Mrs. Murray will be interested to 
hear that owing to the low price of silver, which at 
once doubles one's income, and the literally boundless 
hospitality I have met with, I have been able to build 
three hospitals containing altogether 160 beds one 
under Bishop Corfe at Seoul ; another under Bishop 
Cassels at Paoning-fu, Sze-Chuan; another at Chow-fu; 
and an orphanage for twenty-five earthquake orphans 
at Tokyo, under Bishop Bickersteth. These are 
memorials of my husband, my parents, and my sister, 
and you can imagine the pleasure they give me. 

On June 27 Mrs. Bishop left Shanghai for Japan. 
She was in Tokyo by July 4, and was warmly 


welcomed by Bishop and Mrs. Bickersteth. She 
wrote : " The Bishop is sadly out of health. The 
climate of Japan takes the life out of most English 
people." But she continues : " The Japanese are 
always delightful, and after the Chinese they seem 
little short of angels." 

Here she rested ten days and " fadded with photo- 
graphs," as she called it. About sixty, of the two 
hundred taken in China, had been developed in 
Shanghai ; but the edges of some of her films were 
affected by the fierce heat of Central China. However, 
she rescued the greater number, and her advance in 
the art is evidenced by the beautiful illustrations of 
The Yangtze Valley and Beyond. 

On the day after her arrival, Sir Ernest Satow came 
to see her, and asked her to pay him a visit at his 
delightful summer residence on the lake of Chusenji. 
She accepted his invitation for part of August and 
September ; but adhered to her plan of first trying 
the neighbouring sulphur-baths at Yumoto. She 
went thither on July 15, stopping at Namma Shin- 
juro's inn till August i, when she took a kuruma 
to Shobunotaki, to meet Sir Ernest Satow and Mr. 
Lowther, who rowed her to Chusenji. On August 16 
she writes to Miss Cullen : 

The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places this 
summer ; and after toil, risk, and hardship, I am leading 
a quiet, serene life, in scenery absolutely lovely, in a 
little Japanese house, where everything goes like 
clockwork but without the tick with hours of quiet 
every day and most charming companionship, intel- 
lectually and spiritually elevating. The great forest 
without paths stretches all round and up to the cottage, 
clothing the mountains, which rise to a height of 
8,000 feet. It does not sound more ideal than it is, 
and I am unspeakably thankful for this serene time of 
rest. Sir Ernest and I are great friends now and have 


From a photograph bv Mrs. Bishop. 

1896] CHUSENJI 327 

been for some time ; but we did not always get on 
together far from it ! Here I don't appear till i ; I 
go back to my balcony about 2.30. We have open-air 
tea at 5. Then we row on the lake till about 6.30. 
Then I go to my room till dinner at 8, after which we 
talk on the verandah till about 10. I work about four 
hours daily at my Korean book. I have worked very 
hard at printing sixty of my negatives to send to 
Tokyo to be collotyped, and I hope to be able to sell 
them for the Paonmg-fu medical mission at ten or 
twelve shillings per volume, fifty or more in it. 

The Rev. Lionel Cholmondeley writes the following 
reminiscences of her stay at Chusenji : 

From the middle of August to the middle of Sep- 
tember, in the year 1896, I was the guest of Sir Ernest 
Satow, then British Minister in Japan, in a little semi- 
Japanese house which he had built for himself on the 
Lake Chusenji, seven miles above Nikko. Some three 
miles beyond Chusenji, where the mountains close in 
and make further progress for the traveller impossible, 
is another smaller lake called Yumoto, with a village 
of a few houses built on its side and a fairly good 
Japanese hotel, in which a foreign visitor can find most 
of his wants supplied. Mrs. Bishop had established 
herself in this hotel, and came from it one afternoon to 
stay at Chusenji. The only other member of our party 
was Mr. Harold Parlett, one of the consular secretaries 
in Tokyo. The house stood some little way back from 
the lake, a site having been cleared for it on the 
wooded slope. The space between the house-front 
and the lake had been levelled up, forming something 
of a terrace flanked by a substantial stone facing. The 
footpath that previously wound round the lake had 
been diverted to run at the back of this little newly 
enclosed estate. We were a considerable distance 
from the village, which was most easily reached by 
boat. A band of workmen under a gardener from 
Tokyo were engaged in making a rockery, and putting 
the grounds in order. 

Mrs. Bishop was fond of rowing, which was our 
chief outdoor recreation, and would often take an oar. 
Dinner as everywhere was the most sociable meal ; 
and during dinner and after it, when we sat round the 


fire, the conversation was exceedingly entertaining. 
Japan and the Japanese formed a fruitful topic, and 
the other nations of the East. At another time we 
would get on to the subject of literature, and I 
remember when Lord Beaconsfield's novels came up 
for discussion, that Mrs. Bishop strongly recommended 
me to read Tancred. Mrs. Bishop appreciated books in 
which the soul of the writer evidently revealed itself, 
and she had been greatly struck by a little book called 
Why I became a Christian, written in fascinating 
Japanese-English by a certain Uchimura Kanzo. 

But now I must pass on to relate the eventful 
experience which befell us. Sir Ernest was called 
away on business to Tokyo, and was to be absent for 
two nights. Bad weather had probably set in before 
he left us; but however that may be, a typhoon of 
unusual violence swept over the central provinces 
of Japan soon after his departure. The down-rush of 
the rain at Chusenji was tremendous, and the storm 
of the night seemed only to increase in fury during the 
day. In our sequestered house on the lake, we were 
cut off from all intercourse with the outside world ; 
and for a whole day, at least, Mrs. Bishop, Mr. Parlett, 
and I resigned ourselves to our comfortable imprison- 

But it proved to be no case of one day. As a con- 
sequence of the heavy rainfall, the lake had risen 
abnormally. Houses nearer to the lake, and not so 
well protected as our own, had been flooded, and 
much damage and loss of property had been incurred. 
While protected by our stone-faced embankment from 
the inrush of the waters, the lake had risen on either 
side of us to so great an extent that any passage round 
it, either to the right or to the left, was impossible, 
and equally impossible was it to force our way for any 
distance through the tangled, never-trodden woods, 
with all the bars to progress of torrent, course, and 
rocks. One enterprising boy from the village, with 
a bamboo basket strapped over his shoulder, contrived 
by some means to get to us most days. We christened 
him " Ubiquity," and Mrs. Bishop took a photograph 
of him. Mr. Parlett and I used to roll up our flannels 
and wade through the water with our fishing-rods. 
We caught some fair-sized fish, mostly under the 
shelter of the boat-house; but it was some time ere 

1896] RETURN TO SEOUL 329 

we could release the boat. A break on the railway 
and various landslips on the ascent from Nikko long 
delayed our host's return. Thus our little party of 
three were thrown on the society of one another for 
the greater part of a week, and through these mishaps 
it was my good fortune to come to know Mrs. Bishop 
far more intimately than I should otherwise have 
done. Our friendship was strengthened by the fact 
that my home at Adlestrop is only a few miles from 
Barton, which was formerly the property of the Birds, 
and of which, in my early days, my great-uncle General 
Colvile was tenant. 

Naturally our conversation often turned on missions, 
and Mrs. Bishop entered with great sympathy into my 
account of my own work, especially among young 
men. At that time I was much exercised in my mind 
about finding myself a house nearer to my church in 
Tokyo, and, with her characteristic generosity, she 
offered me 500 yen, if that would help me. My real 
acquaintance with her began and ended in those 
pleasant and eventful days spent in Sir Ernest Satow's 
house on Chusenji Lake. 

Some letters to Mr. Murray refer to the progress 
of her book on Korea, and intimate her intention 
of returning to Seoul for final impressions and 
information. She left, therefore, for this purpose in 
October, and writes again, en route^ to Mr. Murray 
(October 19): 

Even quiet and mountain-air have failed to set me 
up, and hurry, over-fatigue of a social kind, and that 
pest of ordinary life the attempt, often fruitless, to 
make things fit in have produced attacks of nervous 
exhaustion and partial failure of the heart, from which 
I never suffer even when enduring the ofttimes severe 
hardships and fatigues of the quiet open-air life of a 
traveller. Hence my Korean book has not advanced 
as it ought to have done. I am now on my way to 
Korea for some weeks, to be divided between Mr. 
Hillier, the Consul-General, and Mr. McLeavy Brown, 
of our Diplomatic Service at Peking, Commissioner 
of Customs, and now Financial Adviser and Treasurer 
of Korea. From both I shall receive very valuable 


help in the revision of what I have already written 
and in the correction of the notes of what is yet 
unwritten. I greatly regret that I could not (and 
for good reasons) write letters as on former journeys. 
Even had I not used them as such, there is a vividness 
about letters not attainable by another descriptive 

It is this year forty years since Mr. Murray published 
my first book! There could not have been happier 
relations between author and publisher than those 
between your dear father and myself, and these have 
continued unbroken to this day. I have not yet 
recovered from the tremendous blow I received from 
a stone near Mien-Chou. 

Mrs. Bishop reached Seoul October 23, and, at 
first, her health rallied in the dry, bracing air ; but the 
improvement was only partial, and her inability to 
proceed to Chemulpo, either on horseback or in a 
jinrikisha, kept her there so long that it was from 
Seoul that she sent out the New Year's card on 
which she quotes the ancient Persian proverb of 
" Three things that never return " : 

The Spent Arrow, 
The Spoken Word, 
The Lost Opportunity. 

But Mrs. Bishop found plenty to interest her in 
local politics. During the nine months that she had 
been absent the situation had not improved in Korea. 
The confusion had increased and the King, reduced to 
the position of a " salaried automaton," in his despera- 
tion appealed to the Russian representative to protect 
him from a terrorism which might well have cowed 
a braver man. He fled to the Russian Embassy for 
protection, which was accorded him ; and then, finding 
himself personally safe and free from all control and 
the ascendancy of Japan, he reverted to some of the 
worst traditions of his dynasty. The Russian Minister 


acting, probably, on orders from home to give Korea 
" rope enough to hang herself," and thus justify active 
interference on Russia's part abstained from offering 
the guidance which the King would undoubtedly have 
accepted ; all the old abuses soon cropped up, and 
the internal administration was in a state of chaos. 
That Mrs. Bishop did not regret her detention in 
Seoul, a letter to Mr. Murray (January 23, 1897) shows : 

I have very greatly enjoyed this three months on a 
visit to my friend Mr. McLeavy Brown, now, by a 
strange set of circumstances, practically dictator of 
the kingdom. The fascination of being behind the 
scenes in an Oriental kingdom is great, and it has 
been a matter of very deep interest to watch the 
slow unfolding of Russian policy, of which it is 
impossible to doubt that the Foreign Office is entirely 
unaware, and will only become aware when it is too 
late to check it. ... All my baggage, including 
a great Korean chest, has gone to Chemulpo on the 
back of a huge bull, and, as I gave a farewell reception 
yesterday, and have a farewell audience of the ICing 
to-day, I seem to have a little leisure before starting 
on my homeward journey to-morrow, the first far 
three months. This is the end of six months in Seoul 
and eleven in Korea. I have so many friends and 
interests here, and have met with such extraordinary 
kindness, that I feel very loath to leave it. Indeed I 
am returning to England with a very bad grace. I am 
far more at home in Tokyo and Seoul than in any 
place in Britain except Tobermory, and I very much 
prefer life in the East to life at home. 

I have been working at my book under excellent 
auspices, and have received most liberal help from the 
English and Russian Ministers and the Chief Com- 
missioner of Customs, who, with many others, are 
anxious that I should make it a book which shall take 
its place as the book on Korea for some years to come. 
I am trying to do this, as all the existing books have 
become obsolete owing to the changes the last year 
has made. It is a compound of journeys, chapters 
on a few salient Korean subjects, and two chapters 
sketching the changes which have been made, and 


things as they now are in the capital. Among the 
travel-chapters are two on Chinese and Russian 
Manchuria, the last of which has been three times 
delivered as a lecture at the club in Seoul, the Russian 
Minister, Mr. Waeber, presiding. He has drawn for me 
three maps, one being a route-map in Central Korea. 

And so Mrs. Bishop left Korea, with, she says, 
" Russia and Japan facing each other across her 
destinies." She saw the last of Seoul in snow in the 
blue and violet atmosphere of one of the loveliest of 
winter mornings with real regret, for the dislike she 
felt for the country, at first, had passed into an interest 
which was almost affection, and on no previous 
journey had she made dearer or kinder friends. 

She crossed in a bitter wind from Chemulpo to 
Shanghai, and there she halted, for a week, before 
starting on her homeward voyage. On the last day 
of January, 1897, she sailed, reached Colombo on 
February 20 and Malta on March 10. This long 
voyage rested her ; she set aside all hard work, and 
sewed, played chess, printed photographs, and read 
Pastor Pastorum, The Sowers, and Held in Bondage. 

On reaching London (March 19) Mrs. Bishop entered 
in her diary a fervent " Dei Gratiae, three years and 
two months." She settled herself in rooms in Hill 
Street, found for her by Mrs. Bowman, and here, 
except for some brief visits, she remained until the 
middle of July. Her days were fully occupied, and 
she spent much time in the library of the Royal 
Geographical Society ; for, besides working at her 
book, Korea and her Neighbours, which she discussed 
in many interviews with Mr. Murray, she was lecturing, 
and also bringing out papers on Korea some illus- 
tratedin the St. James's Gazette and St. James's Budget. 

The Japanese victories in China had roused a new 
interest in the Far East ; Korea was dawning on the 

,897] WORK AT KOREA 333 

Western mind, and the time was ripening for fuller 
information. Mrs. Bishop's book, though eagerly 
awaited, was delayed, for the situation in the East 
changed every week and rendered obsolete many 
of her carefully collected statistics. Besides, the 
burden of this undertaking weighed upon her more 
heavily than that of any previous book; revision 
became positively distasteful, and perhaps the blow 
on her head, received in China, had made her 
susceptible to brain-fag. She refused to believe that 
Korea could interest her readers, and it is possible 
that intense weariness of the subject gave rise to 
dilatoriness. Nevertheless, by April 20 a considerable 
part of her manuscript was in Mr. Murray's hands, 
and she writes to him : 

All your suggestions are helpful. I am very much 
relieved, for I had passed a far severer criticism on 
the book myself, feeling that no amount of effort can 
make a volume on Korea attractive. 

Several chapters remained to be written, but were 
held over, as she was somewhat unwillingly engaged 
to lecture, for the Royal Geographical Society, upon 
Western China and the mountains which form its 
frontier towards Tibet. The day of the lecture (May 10) 
proved a very busy one : at 3.30 she addressed the 
" Bible Lands Mission " in Exeter Hall ; at 7 she 
dined by invitation at the Geographical Club ; at 
8.30 she gave her lecture, illustrated by forty-five 
lantern slides and by two hundred of her photographs, 
which were exhibited on the screens in the room. 
Next day she attended the Queen's Drawing-room 
and spoke for the Church Missionary Society in 
St. James's Hall in the evening. 

A short visit to Edinburgh, for Assembly addresses, 
occurred after this, and then she returned to 28 Hill 


Street, and was able, for two months, to devote 
herself to more or less constant work at her book. 
But the increase of her public engagements in London 
made it desirable that she should have a home in 
the south, and, after much house-hunting, she took a 
short lease of 20 Earl's Terrace, opposite Holland Park 
and standing back a short distance from the noisy 
Hammersmith Road. For about three weeks, while 
painters and paperers were in possession, she rested 
quietly at the Elms, Houghton, with Mrs. Brown, 
and, returning to London on August 5, she, with the 
assistance of an old servant whom she called "the 
Dragon," devoted herself to furnishing her house. 
When their toils were at an end, and her house was 
habitable, she was free to leave for a series of visits 
and missionary addresses, reaching as far north as 
Berwick and as far south as Exeter. 

From this time forward, Mrs. Bishop devoted her 
time and energies, more unsparingly than ever, to the 
exhausting task of advocating the missionary cause, in 
any corner of England where her help was desired. 
It is a matter of common knowledge that she soon 
acquired a well-deserved reputation as a most capable 
and impressive platform speaker, and this was, Miss 
Gertrude Kinnaird considers, because three character- 
istics, essential to sincere public utterance on this 
difficult topic, were hers in a marked degree : " (a) a 
deep feeling of her own responsibility and of the 
responsibility of those whom she addressed ; (b) a 
great yearning pity for the people in non-Christian 
lands, whom she brought so graphically before 
the eyes of her audience that they seemed to go 
down with them into the darkness, and to feel the 
helplessness of their position; and (c) a strong 
belief in the power of the Gospel to lift them up 


out of darkness and to give them a new life here 
and now." 

The attitude which she so well maintained, of a 
traveller and of a single-minded, impartial observer 
not blind to the blunders or mistakes of zealous but 
inexperienced pioneers, groping their way courageously 
and gallantly along fresh and untried paths and her 
obviously simple and earnest sincerity, her wide 
experience, deep insight, and mellow wisdom, were 
all rendered effective by her natural gifts as a fluent 
and sympathetic speaker. This combination made 
her singularly fitted to appeal, as she hoped to 
do, to that large public whose slow response to 
the missionary claim is due to intellectual fastidious- 
ness, and to a well-balanced distaste for anything 
that is either dull and stupid, or that is, on the 
other hand, tinged with a blind enthusiasm, splendidly 
zealous, but rather of the heart than the head. At 
the same time her command of well-chosen language, 
her sympathetic insight, and grasp of detail enabled 
her to place vividly, before the old supporters of the 
cause, new aspects of the work with which they had 
been so long familiar. 

Mrs. Bishop, however, did not confine herself to 
deepening the zeal of those who already glowed 
with the fire which burned in her own soul, nor 
to winning over people whose critical faculties had 
so far held them aloof. But, being admitted into 
the inner councils of those in whose hands lay 
the ultimate responsibility for operations in the 
mission field, she placed at their disposal both her 
unrivalled trained power of grasping local peculiarities, 
and her critical wisdom. In this way she helped 
.them by making all her just criticisms their own 
to turn to account any past blunders that gave 


rise to legitimately adverse comment, or that marred 
the effectiveness of the work, and thus she enabled 
them to attain a wider, truer outlook, and to tread, 
with more efficiency than before, the difficult but 
Christ-like path which lay before them. 

Mr. Eugene Stock says that after her return from 
China, she had long interviews with the Church Mis- 
sionary Society Secretaries, in which she showed the 
warmest sympathy and appreciation for the work as a 
whole, but pointed out quite frankly what, here and 
there, appeared to her to be flaws in their methods. 
She also, he states, gave important advice bearing upon 
the work of English women in the China Missions, 
where women's work was beset with special difficulties 
and required regulating with the most scrupulous 
carefulness, in order to prevent those unnecessary 
hindrances to the work due to ignorance and in- 
experience, or to self-conceit and self-will. Chinese 
etiquette, as to what is seemly for a woman, though 
tiresome, certainly tended, she felt, to propriety, and 
no young foreign woman could violate its rules 
without injury to her work. She knew that, in one 
province, the violations of etiquette, by some of the 
lady missionaries, had been regarded as so likely to 
lead to an outbreak that the attention of the Foreign 
Office had been called to the matter. But, while she 
laid great stress upon the importance of wisdom and 
discretion on the part of all missionaries, and more 
especially on the part of women, and while she valued 
highly the services of the educated ladies on the 
Society's staff, she nevertheless bore strong testimony 
to the good work done in the far interior, by women 
missionaries springing from the humbler social grades. 
One whom she specially commended for wisdom and 
earnestness who afterwards died of small-pox, caught 


in nursing a Chinese woman was originally a factory 
hand at Blackburn. 

Mrs. Bishop, however, did not agree with the critics 
of the treaty ports who think it unwise for English 
women to live at remote stations where there are no 
English men. On the contrary, she thought that two 
women, not under thirty years of age, who had 
experience of Chinese customs and language, might 
wisely and safely occupy a station where there were 
no other Europeans, provided they always had with 
them a senior Chinese woman. She urged the 
inexpediency of sending out fiancees to be married at 
once to missionaries in China, as the young wife's 
ignorance of the people subjected her to many 
inconveniences, and interfered with her husband's 
efficiency. She thought that such fiancees should be 
a year or two in China, living with senior missionaries, 
to study the language and customs of the land, 
before marriage. She praised the arrangement of 
the China Inland Mission which secures this, while 
recognising the greater difficulty experienced by the 
Church Missionary Society in adopting the plan, 
owing to its missionaries being in provinces where 
different languages and dialects are spoken, so that 
a fiancee cannot easily be placed very far distant 
from the missionary she is engaged to, although 
such distance is highly desirable in view of the 
Chinese feeling of propriety with regard to betrothed 

When speaking on the subject of women's dress in 
China she strongly objected to the European dress 
customary at treaty ports, which the Chinese regard 
as scandalous. She much desired that all lady 
missionaries would follow the example of those of 
the China Inland Mission, and adopt Chinese costume, 



" the only Oriental dress which Europeans can wear 
with seemliness and dignity." Speaking at meetings at 
Bristol in 1900, Mrs. Bishop mentions this " distaste 
of Orientals for the Western garb, and the foreign 
flavour with which Christianity is presented" as an 
unfortunately little recognised difficulty in the way 
of the spread of Christianity. She says : 

It is not alone that it comes, as they think, to subvert 
their social order, corrupt the morals of their women, 
destroy their reverence for parents, old age, and 
ancestors, and to introduce new and hateful customs ; 
but its ideas have a Western dress, its phraseology is 
foreign, and the pictures with which it illustrates its 
teaching are foreign, indecorous in costume and pose, 
and odious, so much so, that in the Hang Chow 
Medical Mission Hospital it was found desirable to 
take them down, to avoid the blasphemous and 
unseemly criticisms which were made upon them, 
and to present our Lord and His Apostles in Chinese 
dress and surroundings. 

Many stumbling-blocks, she felt, must be cleared 
away, and many difficult questions solved, if Christi- 
anity is not to be a precarious exotic in the East. 
She was convinced it was of great importance that 
Christianity should ally itself with all that was not 
evil in the national life, that it should uphold native 
nationality, that it should incorporate native methods 
of instruction with our own, and conserve all customs 
which are not contrary to its spirit. " Already," she 
said, "many Oriental Christians are claiming with 
earnest voices an Oriental Christ instead of a Christ 
disguised in Western garb." 

Only by native agency, under foreign instruction 
and guiding, would, she believed, Christianity really 
leaven the Eastern races. The native teacher, she said, 
knows his countrymen and what will appeal to them, 

i8 9 7] S.P.G. WOMEN'S COMMITTEE 339 

how to make points, how to clinch an argument by a 
popular quotation from their own classics. He pre- 
sents Christianity without the Western flavour. 

Among the many difficult questions to be faced and 
solved are such as that of the English Prayer Book. 
Could, she asked, our Prayer Book, so intensely 
Western in its style and conceptions, metaphysics 
and language of adoration, and its ideas, many of 
them so unthinkable to the Eastern mind, remain the 
only manual of public devotion? 

That Mrs. Bishop's ready help, in the solution of the 
problems inherent in the work, was thoroughly appre- 
ciated by those to whose councils she brought the 
stores of her wisdom and earnestness, their own 
testimony bears witness. 

Mrs. Edward Bickersteth writes : 

When we had the pleasure of welcoming Mrs. Bishop 
to our S.P.G. Women's Committee as a Vice-President, 
it interested me much to see the way in which she 
turned to uses of practical help and counsel the know- 
ledge she had gained in her many years of travel. 
When in London she was a constant attendant at our 
meetings, and she took special delight in those of our 
Candidates' Committee, where her insight into char- 
acter and ready sympathy gave her special power. 
More than one candidate has been surprised to learn 
that the gentle, quiet voice which gave her homely 
hints as to care of health, or sympathetic encourage- 
ment in her shyness, was that of the great traveller 
and distinguished authoress. And here again her 
deep spirituality was manifest. When as Hon. Secre- 
tary for Women Candidates I went to her for advice I 
knew that every question would be approached from 
the highest standpoint. 

Two fellow members of Committee, Miss Lucy 
Phillimore (Vice-President), and Miss C. G. Bunyon, 
have kindly sent recollections of Mrs. Bishop. 


Miss L. Phillimore says : 

I knew her only on the General Committee, where 
she came early and stayed to the end of the business, 
following the discussions with great attention, not 
often speaking unless appealed to, and then quietly 
giving advice founded on her personal and local know- 
ledge of the place. I was much struck by this over 
the question of Miss Weston's House at Tokyo, when 
Mrs. Bishop described the situation of Count Arina's 
house (the building desired) with the fulness of detail 
and minute knowledge with which one would describe 
the most familiar corner of London. Again, in the 
question of the marriage or marriage engagements of 
missionaries, she gave the Committee advice based 
on her knowledge of the aspect in which marriage 
appeared to the native mind, and the etiquette with 
which it was fenced round, a knowledge which was 
peculiarly her own. 

Miss Bunyon adds : 

From her first appearance at the monthly meeting 
of the Women's Work Committee of the S.P.G. 
Mrs. Bishop made her presence felt. On questions of 
principle and policy her low, quiet voice would give a 
short sentence with an authority which made new 
members of Committee ask, " Who is that ? " On one 
occasion two plans being before the Committee, the 
one having the advantage of economy and saving of 
time, and the other carrying with it the difficulties 
involved in building, she pressed with the greatest 
earnestness for the ideal plan and the proper safe- 
guarding and housing of English women missionaries. 
" You do not know what native dwellings are," she 
urged, her whole being lighting with a fire of con- 
viction. She brought to her fellow workers the 
knowledge of the real Far East, and gave them a 
glimpse of what they might learn from her. 

Of course all the missionary speeches, and the 
other work to which Mrs. Bishop felt impelled to 
give her time, were not conducive to the progress of 
her book on Korea, though all August and September 

1897] BOOK ON KOREA 341 

were intermittently occupied with revision of maps 
and illustrations ; and Sir Walter Hillier, who was in 
England, revised her proofs, supplied a preface, and 
transliterated the Korean proper names on the basis 
of a common system. She also welcomed suggestions 
from Mr. Murray and adopted them en bloc. On 
October 2, when visiting the Bishop of Exeter, she 
could write : 

So far as I am concerned, my Korean book will 
be finished on the 4th. Sir Walter Hillier's preface 
and mine have been in the printers' hands for 
some days. Sir Walter Hillier's introduction, con- 
sidering that he occupied a high station in Korea for 
eleven years, should add some weight ; but as you said 
long ago, " it is not a book for the man in the street." 
I am convinced that actual letters merely corrected are 

the most vivid and popular form of presenting one's 
impressions of a country. For those who do not read 
for amusement, but for information, I hope that the 
volumes contain much that is valuable. 

When her book was completed a second missionary 
journey began (October 6) which included Bourne- 
mouth, Winchester, Birkenhead, Birmingham, and 
fended (October 25) at Manchester, whence she went 
on to friends in Edinburgh. Here one of her first 
cares was to call at Messrs. Clarke's printing establish- 
ment. She found her book was being delayed by a 
machinists' strike, and that the men imported from 
London were not up to their work ; and writes to 
Mr. Murray (October 29) : 

I was at Clarke's yesterday. Things are pretty 
bad. Their premises are mobbed, and while they 
have cabs at the front entrance as a blind, they 
send the machinists away at the back in vans 
which have brought paper. Young Mr. Clarke is 
anxious to fight to the bitter end, but I think that 
they will have to give in. My personal interest in it 


is that I fear it will delay the completion of my book, 
although the letter-press is done. 

Mrs. Bishop opened the session of the Scottish 
Geographical Society (November 7) with her lecture 
on "Western China." Lord Lothian presided, two 
thousand people were present, and her reception was 
enthusiastic. She repeated this lecture in Glasgow, 
Dundee, and Aberdeen to crowded audiences. 

I am delighted [she writes] with the kindness and 
hospitality of Aberdeen, and spent one day like a 
summer day on Deeside. I have become so used to 
hearing myself called " the distinguished traveller and 
explorer " that I am beginning to think myself as much 
entitled to a medal as Mr. Curzon, and to wonder that 
my friends don't think so too. 

A missionary itinerary in Scotland succeeded these 
lectures, and, as she wrote to Sir Walter Hillier, she 
gave " fifty lectures and addresses before November 29." 
She wound up her interrupted residence in Edinburgh 
with a lecture at the Literary Institute on the 24th, 
an afternoon address at the Free Church Hall on 
the 2/th, and another to students on November 28. 

Then she was released, and went to Tobermory to 
rest two months at The Cottage. Her book was still 
delayed, and she felt anxious lest this should be to 
her disadvantage, for events in Korea were moving 
rapidly. But at last the two volumes appeared, on 
January 10, 1898, and by the nth 2,000 copies were 
sold. On the same day an edition was published in 

Thank you [Mrs. Bishop writes to Sir Walter 
Hillier] for the kind words about the volumes, which 
are very greatly indebted to you for much more than 
the preface, from which I am glad to see that the 
reviews make copious extracts. It is a piece of 
singular luck that the book should appear just now. 


It is by no means my best book, yet, owing to the 
general interest, it has sold well. The tone of the 
reviewers has gratified me, but I am amused to find 
myself transplanted into the ranks of political writers 
and quoted as an " authority on the political situation 
in the Far East." 

That Mrs. Bishop should be regarded as an authority 
on her subject was not surprising, for she had made 
good use of a great opportunity. Her four visits to 
Korea had most fortunately coincided with the duration 
of a critical episode, in the drama of Far Eastern 
development, which nearly concerned politicians in 
the West, but about which reliable information was 
not to be easily obtained. Mrs. Bishop possessed, 
as we have seen, the friendship and confidence of 
Europeans resident in Seoul who were thoroughly 
acquainted with the country ; they had initiated her 
into the inner life of the isolated " hermit nation " 
that, for centuries, had repelled investigation, and 
she had profited, to the utmost, by these exceptional 
facilities for the intimate study of a peculiarly 
interesting situation. 



MRS. BISHOP'S last record in her diary for 1897 is 

Farewell, year ! Thy griefs and pains 
Now are gathered to the past. 

She sent out her New Year's card, with two 
mottoes : Russell Lowell's " Not failure but low aim 
is crime," and the old Korean proverb "You can 
recover an arrow that you have shot, but not a word 
that you have spoken." 

After the publication of Korea and her Neighbours, 
she received daily letters of congratulation and innu- 
merable reviews, all " monotonously favourable " and 
recognising the closeness of observation, accuracy of 
fact, and correctness of inference displayed in it. 
She admitted that the consensus of favourable opinion 
on the book, and the recognition of the labour 
bestowed on it, were very gratifying, " as it cost me 
more toil and careful investigation than all my other 
books put together." She writes (January 19), before 
the book had been out ten days : " The second edition 
is to be ready on Friday and is more than half ordered. 
It is the political interest which is selling it." In a 
letter to Sir Thomas Grainger Stewart she strikes 
the same note : 

It is less as a book of travels, than as a book on 
the political situation that it is commended, and it was 
just the political part which I thought would bring 



down a good deal of hostile criticism. Lord Salisbury 
writes to Mr. Murray that he is in the midst of it. 
Its success is equally great in America, making five 
editions in all. This success was quite unlocked for, 
and I am very glad to have the hard and conscientious 
work of a year so fully recognised. 

But she paid the penalty of her strenuous exertions, 
for she writes (January 19) from Tobermory : 

I quite collapsed after coming here, and was not 
downstairs for more than three weeks. My spine 
has been nearly as bad as in its worst days, and con- 
tinues, in spite of blisters, to be very painful, and 
weakness makes going about in this hilly place 
impossible. Otherwise The Cottage and its memories 
are delightful and I wish I could stay here four 
months longer. There are no worries and so much 
freedom and peace. But there are few with whom 
one can exchange any educated ideas. The people 
perish of brain-rust, a malady which appears to me 
to affect eight out of ten people elsewhere than in 
Tobermory. How few people study, or work mentally 
except as a means of living ! To most people there 
is little true, nothing new, and nothing matters. 

She writes later to Mrs. Bagshawe : 

You cannot think what the rest is to me. To stay 
in bed or to get up as I feel inclined ; to take up a book 
for pleasure merely ; to sit with my feet on the fender 
and sew ; to develop and print photographs ; to watch 
nature in her fiercest phases and be alone with her ; 
and to have time to recall the sacred memories of 
which this cottage is the shrine. 

She left on the last day of January and got into 
her new house in London a fortnight later. "Toiled 
all day," is a frequent entry during February. Room 
by room the house was set in order, she hung pictures 
and curtains, arranged her books and superintended 
the disposal of the furniture herself; and she writes 
to Lady Middleton : 


I have not room to unpack, yet the little house 
has a sort of homey, old-fashioned look, and for the 
first time for fourteen years I am able to offer 
hospitality to my friends. I should never be a 
Londoner, fond as I am of London, but just now I am 
getting on fairly well, though much fatigued. Since 
my book came out, I have spoken at several Liberal- 
Unionist political meetings on the Chinese question. 

During the next four months, she was very busy 
with missionary addresses, and with the social engage- 
ments which naturally increased as the season went 
on ; and though her house was always full of visitors, 
she left them free to come or go, at their pleasure, and 
felt equally free herself, to lunch or dine out, to attend 
a Chinese debate in the House of Commons, to lecture 
on New Japan and Korea, or to wander off on the 
missionary work which led her once as far afield as 
Dublin. One engagement, to dine with Mr. and Mrs. 
Murray, developed in a manner which must have 
caused some surprise to her household. On rising 
to leave, she found herself without her latch-key, and, 
not daring to go home and ring up " the Dragon," 
she cast herself on her hosts' ready hospitality and 
spent the night under their roof; having attended 
morning prayers and breakfast, in evening dress 
with fan and handkerchief in hand, she only appeared 
on her own doorstep in the course of the morning. 

Amongst many names recorded in her engagement 
book this summer, occur those of Lady Jane Taylor 
who, as Lady Jane Hay, was her girlhood's friend 
at Wyton of Mr. and Mrs. Bullock, who paid her 
several visits at Earl's Terrace, of Colonel Sawyer, 
Sir Walter Hillier, Miss Kingsley, Count Ugo Balzani, 
Mrs. J. R. Green, Sir William and Lady Hunter, and 
Mrs. Glassford Bell. 

By J ur y 2 5 sne was i n Edinburgh, opening a 

1898] AT 20 EARL'S TERRACE 347 

Missionary Loan Exhibition, at which she gave an 
address every afternoon for four days ; and this was 
followed by an active missionary campaign including 
Melrose, St. Boswells, Ripon, York, and Scarborough 
which proved too much for her. Her health broke 
down again in August, as she writes to Miss Cullen : 

The consequences of my missionary addresses have 
been so bad that I am actually and really resting, 
being only able to go from one room to another. 
I faddle away the days and have seen no one to speak 
to for a week. I am thankful for the time being to 
have such a charming house and good servants, but 
I fear I shall hardly be able to remain here till the end 
of my time. It is very well while London is empty. 

The five weeks of enforced quiet at home, to which 
she submitted, were broken into by two restful visits 
to Mrs. Brown, and the " faddling away the days " 
included developing and printing many of her Chinese, 
Japanese, and Korean photographs ; these she was 
selling to swell the salary of Dr. Pruen, a medical 
missionary at Paoning-fu. She was also occupied in 
learning to make lantern slides for her lectures, and 
in preparing papers on the " Mantze of the Tsu-ku- 
Shan mountains," which she was to read at the Clifton 
meeting of the British Association in September. 
This she did, and she also fulfilled some missionary 
engagements, deriving special pleasure from a lecture 
at Tattenhall, which involved a visit to her friend 
Mrs. Barbour of Bolesworth. But she writes to 
Miss Cullen (October 13) : 

I managed to read my papers at the British 
Association and came back to be ill again, and am 
now only just beginning to get out. I have a return 
of the malady in my spine, the head attacks, and a 
lame, painful knee. I had not given a missionary 
address for weeks till I made two on Monday at 


Guildford, for Bishop Ingham. I like London and 
find my house quite charming, enabling me to carry 
out to the full my project of making it a " Hostel." 
I have two or three guests nearly always sleeping 
here, and they enjoy their freedom and pass-keys ! 
My last, who have just left me, were Bishop and 
Mrs. Royston and Mr. Masujima for a fortnight a 
heathen Japanese and a singularly able man, leader 
of the Tokyo Bar, Adviser to the Department of 
Foreign Affairs, etc. He was most interesting both 
on England and Japan, and discussed affairs within 
the English Church with an amount of knowledge and 
insight I seldom see. 

The current of her thoughts was diverted, from 
all her minor occupations, by Mr. Murray's request 
that she should put into literary form her notes on 
the Yangtze River and on Western China, and this 
arduous task she began on the last day of October, 
1898, only to have her work interrupted by an out- 
break of house-hunting. This time Mrs. Bishop was 
bent on securing a house in the country near Houghton 
and Wyton. Residence in London involved her 
in too much social life, and she designed to escape 
from that tax upon her increasingly delicate health. 
She enjoyed the life, and, meeting as she did the most 
interesting and active workers of the time, whether 
in politics, philanthropy, science, or literature, she 
would gladly have retained her place in their midst. 
But the state of her health made it impossible for 
her to combine both literary and public work with 
the whirl of entertaining and being entertained, and she 
allowed herself to be swayed, in the choice of a home, 
by the memories of her youth and the neighbourhood 
of her almost lifelong friend Mrs. Brown, at Houghton. 
The house eventually chosen was Hartford Hurst, 
on the Ouse, in the next parish to Wyton. It was 
taken for a long lease from March, 1899, a year before 


her lease of 20 Earl's Terrace expired. But there was 
much to do in the way of improvement and addition, 
and she did not propose to take possession till August. 
A letter to Lady Middleton (February 5, 1899) 
gives some of her reasons for the step. 

In the autumn I was urged to write a book on the 
Yangtze Valley, which means working for six hours a 
day for the next eight months, through the London 
season, and through a complete move of all my goods 
and chattels to Huntingdonshire. I took my house at 
Earl's Terrace for two years, chiefly to have a nice place 
in which to receive my friends, but I never expected that 
I should be able to remain longer than two years, and 
my health has so broken down under the strain of 
London life that I have decided to leave it in August. 
I should not care to live in London unless I were 
strong enough to be in the thick of things, and old age 
is coming on with leaps and bounds. So I am taking 
a lease of Hartford Hurst, an hour and a quarter from 
London and a mile from Huntingdon, in a village 
street with three acres of ground and a boat-house on 
the Ouse. It is a very unideal house in an unideal 
neighbourhood, but the next parish was my father's 
last parish, and I spent there a happy youth from 
sixteen to twenty-seven, and it is less trouble to go 
into a neighbourhood which I know intimately, than 
to make acquaintance with a new one. At all events 
it is a pied-a-terre so long as I can move about, and 
when I can't it may prove a haven. It is very odd to 
look at all things in the light of old age, and I am 
trying resolutely to face it, thankful all the time that 
my best-beloved never knew it and that they had 
neither to live nor die alone. 

Mrs. Bishop remained in town all the winter and 
kept steadily to her work on China, of which, by 
February, she had completed one-third. On the i4th 
of that month I went to pay her a week's visit ; she 
was far from well, but was constantly engaged and 
saw many friends, especially, at that time, Miss 
Kingsley, Miss Kinnaird, and Mrs. Palmer. I can 


remember only one evening on which she dined at 
home, but an incident connected with the hour after 
dinner has impressed it indelibly on my memory. 
When we came up to the drawing-room, she sat 
down upon the sofa and asked me to sit beside her. 
She wore a Chinese dress of delicate lavender brocade, 
made Chinese fashion and very comfortable. She 
took my hand and said : " I wish to speak to you 
about a matter that is on my mind; I feel very ill 
and have little doubt that my years are nearly 
numbered. When I die, it may be that my memory 
will perish with me, but it also may be that others 
will care to know something about me. I hardly 
expect it but should there come a call for my bio- 
graphy, will you write it ? I should wish it to be 
written by you." 

The suggestion was so sudden, and so complicated 
with pain and thoughts of many kinds, that it was 
impossible to say more than " yes." The matter 
was not further alluded to, and the summer passed 
in the same pressure of engagements as the spring. 
She continued hard at work on the Chinese book ; 
and though it was not till August 24 that she com- 
pleted it, yet most of it was in type, and fully revised, 
long before. She took infinite pains with the illus- 
trations, which were produced from photographs 
taken during her tour, with the addition of repro- 
ductions of three interesting old Chinese pictures 
given her by the Chinese Inland Mission. Lord 
Salisbury accepted the dedication in a letter which 
gratified her. " Such a recognition, from such a man, 
in such a position, is worth a great deal to an author." 

Early in September she took leave of 20 Earl's 
Terrace, and stayed a few days with Mrs. Palmer 
at 10 Grosvenor Crescent, before following her 



furniture to Hartford Hurst. She had been fortunate 
enough to secure Blair's return to her service, and 
installed her at the Hurst as housekeeper. She 
herself stayed with Mrs. Brown, while her house 
was being made habitable, and indeed that autumn 
she did not spend more than a week in it ; its loneli- 
ness overpowered her, and the Elms attracted her 
to remain within the shelter of its comfort and 
loving care. 

About the middle of October she went north to 
Tobermory, staying on her way with old friends in 
Edinburgh till November n. Sir Thomas Grainger 
Stewart was in bad health, and when she bade him 
good-bye it was with a mournful presentiment, for she 
entered the incident in her diary as "so sad." Mrs. 
Bishop seems to have collapsed immediately after her 
arrival at Tobermory and to have turned with aversion 
from all work, visiting, and exertion, for about three 
weeks. She sat by the fire, read nothing but the news- 
papers, urged by the tragic interest of the Boer War, 
sewed a great deal, and chatted with Mrs. and Miss 
Macdonald, who spent every possible evening with her. 

Her book, The Yangtze Valley and Beyond^ was 
published in November, but England was preoccupied 
with the Boer War, and at first it received less 
attention than her Korean volumes had done. Lord 
Salisbury read it with care, and wrote twice to her 
expressing his appreciation. The reviews were 
favourable, and many of them even intelligent. But 
the moment was unpropitious, for South Africa held 
all hearts and minds, and the Far East was obliterated 
for a time. 

I am sorry [she wrote to Sir Walter Hillier on 
December 8], for I put ten months of hard work into 
it, and I should like to have imposed some of my 


opinions on a larger circle of readers than it is likely 
I shall have. 

A little later on, when South African affairs were 
less engrossing, Mrs. Bishop was cheered by hearing 
that the sale of her book had improved greatly. In 
this letter she goes on to tell her correspondent that 
Dr. Scott Keltic had asked her to contribute the 
article on Korea to The Times supplement of the 
Encyclopaedia Britannica, and that she felt that she 
should not let the " honour go past." 

Then in allusion to the Church Congress of the 
foregoing October, at which she had read a paper, 
she continues : 

I was much disappointed with the Church Congress. 
It hung flat. From my own experience in reading a 

Eaper there, I think it is hardly possible to put life and 
re into twenty minutes' papers, prepared as they 
must be weeks before. Only those either of pure fact 
or argument can stand this process. The most 
interesting was by Lord Halifax (though I have no 
sympathy with his desire to return to religious 
mediaevalism), because it had'the energy of conviction 
and the glow of devotion. 

That winter was cold and damp. Snow, rain, and 
storms of wind depressed all December and much of 
January. Influenza was rife, and many deaths amongst 
the older people diminished the number of her friends. 
A not unexpected death in Edinburgh filled up her cup 
of sorrow, for on February 3, 1900, her faithful and 
ever-helpful friend Sir Thomas Grainger Stewart 
passed from suffering into peace. 

I have thought of you all and of nothing else for 
these two days [she writes on the 4th to Lady Grain- 

fer Stewart] ; they have been such glorious days, and 
felt how the brilliant sunshine must almost have 
jarred upon those who have been sitting with darkened 

i9oo] SORROW 353 

hearts in the bereft and darkened home. I have 
pictured you all as worn out, and yet I have felt that 
each would try and strengthen the other to bear what 
must be borne, in such a united family, all sorrowing. 
And I pray constantly, that such comfort as you are 
able to receive may come from thoughts of " the good 
fight foughten well, and of his crowned brow." And 
thoughts too of the singularly happy home life, which 
your beloved husband had, and how in all these years 
wife and children have been a ceaseless source of 
conscious joy. . . . To me for thirty years he had been 
such a true and trusted friend, the one to whom my 
thoughts specially turned in any new interest or 
change of circumstances and then to my husband, 
who, on hearing two days before his death that there 
was a letter from Sir Thomas, which he was too weak 
to hear, whispered with a smile " most true and trusted 
friend." Nothing endeared your husband more to me 
than his abiding sense of loss in that death. I look 
back upon his years of kindness to me, his delightful 
conversation giving me of his best, and his appreciative 
insight into Hennie and my husband, and feel life very 
blank and poor to-day, an emptiness in it never to be 
filled. I never dreamed that he would go before me, 
and yet when I wished him good-bye I had a terrible 
presentiment that it was farewell. 

To Mrs. Blackie, Mrs. Bishop writes (February 18): 

No pain, no pang of parting then silence for ever. 
And where do they all go ? And where are we going ? 
A greater loss could not have befallen me, not only of 
a doctor who never made a mistake in his advice, but 
of a most true and faithful friend to me and my 
husband. I have rarely seen a man so unselfish in his 
own house, so careful and considerate for others. A 
few weeks ago he insisted on giving up morphia, 
feeling that it made him irritable. How pathetic life 
becomes when its landmarks are graves alone. I have 
felt profoundly depressed during this my last winter 
here, and the indifference of my friends to my last book, 
my youngest child, the child of my old age, has hurt 
and grieved me much. So much of life and self went 
into it and ten months of severe toil. I have read very 
little except newspapers; I have sewed a great deal 



and have been working for the last month at a long 
and stiff paper for the Encyclopedia Britannica. I go 
among the people, hear a good deal, but everything 
is done with a heartache and an awful feeling of 

That winter Mrs. Bishop had come to the conclusion 
that the cottage at Tobermory must be given up. 
Already during the winter of 1896-7 she had been 
shocked and grieved by the stagnation of religious life, 
the increase of intemperance, the growing callousness 
to all good counsel, and, even then, she had referred 
in a letter, to the deterioration which, on her return, she 
found had taken place during her long absence. 

Tobermory is certainly four years worse. Drink is 
ravaging it. Several young men are at this time dying 
of it, and many of the older men have come to wreck with 
it since I was last here. The Temperance Society and 
the Band of Hope are both defunct. And this after it 
has been worked for and wept for and prayed for with 
strong crying and tears time out of mind. 

Later on she spoke of this to me, adding that the old 
piety, which made the West Highland Sunday a day of 
peace and worship, was almost extinct, and that un- 
belief was degrading the people whom her sister had 
loved and served. That the matter was much in her 
mind is shown by a paragraph in her book on China. 
She describes the way that, on the Yangtze and in 
Canton, she had seen the Chinese celebrate their great 
festival New Year's day, saying that the solemnity and 
stillness, of the first hours of the great day, reminded 
her of an old-fashioned Scotch Sunday. Later on, she 
said, followed feasting and fireworks ; but universal 
politeness and good behaviour prevailed, and, owing to 
the moderate use of intoxicants, the three days of this 
universal holiday passed by without turmoil or dis- 
grace, and the population went back to trade and work 


not demoralised by its spell of social festivity. And 
she concluded : 

So the most ancient of the world's existing civilisa- 
tions comports itself on its great holiday, while our 
civilisation of yesterday, especially in Scotland, what 
with " first-footing " and " treating," is apt to turn the 
holiday into a pandemonium. 

This year all noticed a great change in the attitude 
of the villagers towards her efforts on their behalf. 
She made a despairing attempt to reclaim the women 
drunkards, whose roll had lamentably lengthened, and 
she was recompensed with their anger. It seemed 
as if all that she had done were futile, though the 
Y.W.C.A. continued to flourish in Mrs. Allan's capable 
hands, and thanks to her unremitting exertions. In 
February Mrs. Bishop wrote : 

The place does not improve. The people are so intel- 
lectually lazy and so spiritually dead, and so contented 
merely to vegetate. It is pitiable and blamable, and I 
see no hope that things will ever be any better. I 
think that " the day of visitation " was when she was 
here. She influenced Tobermory at least for the time 
being and some persons permanently. It is hard to 
me to love the Tobermory people, and without love one 
is useless. 

She had indeed many educated friends at Tobermory 
who were devoted to her and thoroughly appreciated 
the elevating influence of her life. " We lived better 
lives for her presence amongst us," said Mrs. McLach- 
lan of Badarroch ; " unconsciously we tried to live as 
she did for others." " Here we can think no evil 
thought, far less speak one evil word," said Dr. Alex- 
ander Macdonald at The Cottage one day. But the 
hills tried her heart, and the three days' journey to 
England was a drawback. So, feeling that, since she 
could no longer redeem the lives of her poorer 


neighbours, her ties to Toberrnory were loosened, she 
very reluctantly gave the Free Church deacons' court 
notice that she would give up The Cottage at the term, 
and in the month of March began the slow process of 
packing her possessions, for despatch to Hartford 

On Sunday, March u, she took a walk with Miss 
Macdonald towards the lighthouse. She slipped on 
one rock and fell down another, with her whole weight 
on her left knee, the joint of which was badly injured. 
She saved herself, from falling down the cliff to the 
sea, by seizing hold of a tree, and this sprained her 
right arm and lacerated one of its tendons. Miss 
Macdonald managed to get her home, and Mrs. Mac- 
donald fomented the swollen and injured knee and 
bandaged her arm, but for a long time she was lame 
and her arm was maimed. So these helpful friends 
undertook to pack, while Mrs. Bishop worked slowly 
at her article on Korea. It was finished by March 20. 
On Thursday, the 29th, she said farewell to the members 
of the Y.W.C.A., and the days following were given 
up to taking leave of her friends. Sunday, April i, 
was the last day that she spent at The Cottage. She 
had written to Mrs. Macdiarmid : 

I give up this blessed cottage and the life inherited 
from her, at the term, and leave it finally on April 4. 
... It is hard God alone knows how hard and it 
closes a chapter in my life, with all the lovely and 
pathetic memories, first of her and then of my husband. 
I; have had The Cottage nearly twenty years. I have 
not been comfortable here this winter. 

On the day she left she wrote again to Mrs. Mac- 
diarmid : 

Hector Mackinnon has packed all the things, the dear 
things associated with her, which I cannot part from and 


which will furnish my bedroom and boudoir in my 
English house, but they will never be the same as here. 
I am taking some of her loved plants too, the bulbs and 
cuttings from the ivy. . . . Would that I could take 
the bay, the moorland, the sunsets, all that she loved 
and that I loved so well. I think I would rather die 
here than live anywhere else. 

She spent her last days at Heanish and stayed with 
the Macdonalds till Wednesday, the 4th, when she 
left Tobermory for ever. On her way south Mrs. 
Bishop spent two days in Edinburgh, with Miss Nelson 
at Abney House, and accounted for her very noticeable 
lameness by saying, " I fell over the cliff shortly 
before leaving Tobermory." Sfie betrayed such 
unwonted nervousness, about her journey to Hunting- 
don, that Miss Nelson, to reassure her, went to the 
stationmaster arid secured her seat beforehand. 

A time of restless activity succeeded Mrs. Bishop's 
journey south. Visits, lectures, occasional rushes to 
Hartford Hurst, lodgings in London all May and 
June, the season's social swirl, three weeks of July 
devoted to visiting her relatives, and a final week with 
Mrs. Palmer, at 10 Grosvenor Crescent, occupied four 
months, from the records of which it is difficult to 
gather any matter of definite interest. On June 25 
she was present at the Women Writers' annual dinner 
and was " bored " and who shall wonder ? 

In her rooms at Kensington Crescent, not far from 
Earl's Terrace, visitors were ceaseless. She lunched 
and dined out almost daily, and there are few allusions 
to her injured knee and arm. Perhaps the relief of 
having no book on hand made all this movement 
pleasurable, but she was not solely absorbed in it. 
In a letter to Sir Walter Hillier (May 14) she says : 

I have begun French conversation lessons, lessons in 
photography (developing, platinotyping, and lantern- 


slide making by reduction), and am preparing to take 
a few cooking lessons. I am also ordering a tricycle 
in the hope of getting more exercise." 

She was, in fact, planning new travels and had told 
her correspondent so in February : 

I propose to go away for the winter, to Algiers and 
Morocco possibly. I am not able now for long rides 
and climbs on foot, but I feel quite able for modified 
travelling, and should like to go up the West River 
in China, and by ways I know not from the head of 
its navigation to reach To-chien-lu and get up to 
Somo and Sieng-pon-ling and thence to Peking. But 
I suppose this would be hardly safe alone. It could 
be done by boat and chair. 

The two schemes were in her mind at once. Her 
friend Sir Ernest Satow had been sent to Peking as 
British Minister, and had invited her to come and 
spend a winter at the Legation there. Her former 
visit to Peking had been cut short, and the thought 
of some months in security " behind the scenes " was 
most stimulating. But the state of her knee and arm 
forbade the farther journey, and her attention was 
limited to Morocco. 

It was not till August that she went to Hartford 
Hurst, and set herself seriously to convert the house 
into a home. She had avoided it, for a whole year, 
but now the associations, connected with the river 
and the neighbourhood, began to act upon her and 
she made it her headquarters till December. More 
cannot be said, for, besides constant visits to the Elms, 
she had numberless autumn engagements. In a letter 
to Miss Cullen she says (August 29) : 

After a great deal of going hither and thither, I came 
here some weeks ago, having two servants. The 
Miss Kers came the next day for ten days. It was 
a very bright time. They were at once followed by 


Mrs. J. R. Green, the widow of the historian, and 
Mr. Taylor, a Dublin barrister, Mr. Ball, the art-director 
at Cassell's, and K. Maclean, formerly of Tobermory. 
I am alone for a little now, and very glad to be so, as 
the unpacking and arranging are not nearly finished. 
On September 21 I go for a week to Newcastle to the 
Church Congress, where I have been asked to read 
a paper, and to speak twice, as well as to speak at a 
Church Army gathering. Then I purpose to return 
and receive visitors till October 16, when I go to 
Leeds to give six lectures, after which I have very 
many engagements till November 22. I find house- 
keeping a great tax. It is easy enough when shops 
are near, and fish and poultry can be obtained to give 
variety for guests. I see much of Mrs. Brown, whose 
thoughtfulness is unfailing. 

Mrs. Bishop's arm was now less crippled, and she 
could row her visitors on the Ouse for an hour at a 
time, as well as go constantly alone by river to 
Houghton, where she could fasten her boat and walk 
up to the Elms by a short lane. 

Mr. Ball had come to arrange about the publication 
of a hundred and twenty-six of her Chinese photo- 
graphs, with explanatory notes, dictated to him during 
his stay, and the square green book was published 
that autumn by Messrs. Cassell under the title Chinese 

It is doubtful whether she ever became really 
attached to the Hurst. She wrote towards the end 
of her stay that autumn to Mrs. Macdonald : 

I do not know that I shall ever like it. If I could 
get rest I might, but I am very hard worked and have 
before me weeks of lectures and addresses on missions 
and on China, after which I purposed to go for the 
winter either to Morocco or China and now a letter 
has come from the Bishop of Calcutta asking me if 
I will go to India for the winter and help to fill the 
place of some workers who have broken down and 
have had to come home. The work is in connection 


with those famine relief funds which have been placed 
in the hands of missionaries. 

This invitation Mrs. Bishop finally declined. Her 
arduous missionary campaign ended, she returned to 
Hartford Hurst, on the last day of November, for a 
few days, to pack up for the journey to Morocco, 
and then took lodgings in London for a fortnight. 

In sixteen hours [she writes to Miss Cullen, 
December 22] I am to sail. The steamer goes first 
to the West African coast, then to Gibraltar, and 
lastly to Tangier, where she should arrive on January 4. 
The steamer company has sent me a free ticket, the 
fifth I have had. I propose to go first to the Villa de 
France. It is absolute rest that I must have, if I am 
to do any work in the world, so I am not taking any 
introductions for Tangier. I am taking for rest, 
photography, embroidery, and water-colours. 

The steamer reached Tangier on New Year's Day, 
1901, and Mrs. Bishop spent altogether six months in 
Morocco ; part of the time, however, she was incapaci- 
tated by illness. She apparently did not attain the 
rest which she set out to seek, for she rode, she says : 

in all 1,000 miles, visiting the northern and southern 
capitals, the holy city of Wazan, the coast cities, many 
of the agricultural and pastoral districts of the interior, 
and journeying, among the Berbers of the Atlas moun- 
tains, as far as the Castle of Glowa, on the southern 
slope of the pass of the same name, between the capital 
and Tafilet. 

After her return to England, she refused to write 
a book on Morocco, on account of her scanty notes; 
but she put together an article for The Monthly Review 
(October 1901) which, although it gives no account 
of her doings, yet is full of vivid impressions of the 
country and its people. 

Specimen of one of Mrs. Bishop's Chinese photographs. 


Soon after her arrival, she contracted blood- 
poisoning and was three weeks in bed, at the Villa 
de France, with such high fever that she was not 
allowed even to see her letters; it was not till 
February 8 that she could read the Times account 
of Queen Victoria's funeral. Later, Dr. Roberts, who 
attended her, removed her to his own home at the 
Medical Mission Hospital, and on March 4 she was 
able to leave by sea for Mogador and two months' 
camping. She wrote (March 16) to Mrs. Brown from 
Marakesh (Morocco City) : 

I left Tangier and had a severe two days' voyage 
to Mazagan, where the landing was so terrible, and the 
sea so wild, that the captain insisted on my being 
lowered into the boat, by the ship's crane, in a coal 
basket. The officers and passengers cheered my pluck 
as the boat mounted a huge breaking surge on her 
landward adventure. No cargo could be landed. I 
have never been in a boat in so rough a sea. Before 
leaving the steamer I had a return of fever; and when 
the only camping-ground turned out to be a soaked 
ploughed field with water standing in the furrows, and 
the tent was pitched in a storm of wind and rain, and 
many of the tent-pegs would not hold, and when the 
head of my bed went down into the slush when I lay 
down, I thought I should die there but I had no more 
illness or fever ! A first night in camp is always 
trying, but this was chaos, for we had not expected 
to camp, and had not the necessaries ; my servant, 
Mohammed, the worst I have ever had, is not only 
ignorant and incompetent, but most disagreeable. 
After an awful night during which the heavy wet end 
of my tent, having broken loose, flapped constantly 
against my head things mended. The rain ceased, 
and when a ground-sheet had native matting over it, 
the tent looked tolerable. We left with camel, mule, 
donkey, and horse, after three days, and travelled here, 
126 miles, in six days, in very fine weather. 

Marakesh is awful ; an African city of 80,000 people, 
the most crowded, noisiest, vilest, filthiest, busiest 
city I have seen in the world. It terrifies me. It is 


the great Mohammedan feast, lasting a week, and 
several thousand tribesmen sheiks, with their re- 
tainers are here, all armed, mounted on their superb 
barbs, splendidly caparisoned men wild as the moun- 
tains and deserts from which they come here to do 
homage to the Sultan and exhibit the national game 
of powder-play. 

I have seen several grand sights the Sultan in the 
midst of his brilliant army, receiving the homage of 
the sheiks, and on another day, similarly surrounded, 
killing a sheep in memory of Abraham's sacrifice of 
Isaac, and as an atonement for the sins of the year. 
I was at the last in Moorish disguise, pure white and 
veiled, through the good offices of Kaid Maclean [Sir 
Harry de Vere Maclean, for twenty-five years the 
generalissimo of the Sultan's army] a Maclean of 
Loch Buie in Mull. I have a Moorish house to myself 
with a courtyard choked with orange-trees in blossom 
and fruit. I also have what is a terror to me, a 
magnificent barb, the property of the Sultan ; a most 
powerful black charger, a huge fellow far too much 
for me, equipped with crimson trappings and a peaked 
crimson saddle, eighteen inches above his back. I have 
to carry a light ladder for getting on and off! I have 
been waiting for three days to get away and make an 
expedition into the Atlas range, whose glittering 
snows form a semi-circle round half the plain. 

The day before Mrs. Bishop left Marakesh, she was 
received by the Sultan, who gave her an audience 
lasting twenty minutes and showed much interest in 
her photography, a craft in which he was himself an 
expert. He had just had two photographic cameras 
made for him by Adams of Charing Cross Road. 
One of i8-carat gold cost 2,000 guineas, the other of 
silver 900. Mrs. Bishop now left for the expedition 
in the Atlas, and travelled nominally as the Sultan's 
guest. She was hospitably received in the castles 
of the Berber sheiks and khalifas, and witnessed a life 
which, though on a larger scale, resembles greatly that 
lived by the mediaeval barons of our border castles. 


The fortress of the hereditary Kaid of Glowa, the 
richest and most powerful of the chiefs, is, she says, 
a huge double-towered pile of stone, on a height, with 
high walls and provisioned for a considerable term, 
and contains, besides five hundred human beings, 
great wealth in slaves, flocks, herds, arms and am- 

She wrote to Mrs. Brown from one of these Berber 
strongholds, Zarktan Castle : 

With mules, horses, and soldiers, and with Mr. 
Summers as fellow traveller, I left the din and devilry 
of Marakesh as the Sultan's guest and have been 
travelling six hours daily since, camping four nights 
and sleeping two in the castles of these wild tribes 
till to-night, when we are camped in the fastnesses 
of the great Atlas range at a height of i,opo feet, in 
as wild a region as can be imagined. This journey 
differs considerably from any other and it is as 
rough as the roughest. I never expected to do such 
travelling again. You would fail to recognise your 
infirm friend astride on a superb horse in full blue 
trousers and a short full skirt, with great brass spurs 
belonging to the generalissimo of the Moorish army, 
and riding down places awful even to think of, where 
a rolling stone or a slip would mean destruction. In 
these wild mountains we are among tribes which Rome 
failed to conquer. It is evidently air and riding which 
do me good. I never realised this so vividly as now. 
I am fortunate in having such a fellow traveller, in 
capability, kindness and knowledge of the language 
and people, a strong, manly, resourceful man, never 
worried (and what worries there are !) and with 
absolute control of temper. He arranges and pays 
everything, and I settle once a week. My servant is 
of the worst kind, lazy, dirty, incompetent, dishonest, 
and he does not know a word of English. This is an 
awful country, the worst I have been in. The oppres- 
sion and cruelty are hellish no one is safe. The 
country is rotten to the core, eaten up by abominable 
vices, no one is to be trusted. Every day deepens my 
horror of its deplorable and unspeakable vileness. 
Truly Satan's seat is here. 


She thought Morocco the darkest spot of the world 
she had seen : corrupt and immoral to an extent she 
had not seen in heathen lands. For the common 
Mohammedan religion was, she thought 

at once the curse of Morocco, and the most formid- 
able obstacle in the way of progress, chaining all 
thought in the fetters of the seventh century, steeping 
its votaries in the most intolerant bigotry and the 
narrowest conceit, and encouraging fanaticism which 
regards with approval the delirious excesses of the 
Aissawa and the Hamdusha. 

As to government, she says, practically there is none. 

The Sultan has no power over much of the Empire ; 
he cannot collect taxes, punish crime, secure the safety 
of goods and travellers, or even pass himself ijrom 
Morocco city to Fez by a direct route. . . . Life is of 
no account. Much as I had heard of the misgovern- 
ment of Morocco, I was not prepared to find the reality 
far worse than reported, or for the consensus of opinion 
among Arabs, Jews, and Europeans as to the infamies 
of the administration with which the country is cursed. 
. . , " The government," they say, " is like a fire 
burning us.' . . . Alike in the trading cities of the 
coast and interior and in the clusters of reed huts, or 
brown tents, which are the migratory dwellings of the 
agricultural populations, the same tales are told and 
told truthfully ... of the crimes done in the Sultan's 
name ... of the intolerable exactions at the pleasure of 
the Kaids, of the absolute insecurity of the earnings of 
labour, of the confiscation of crops by the Kaids, of the 
right exercised by them liberally of throwing their 
enemies, and all men rich enough to be worth robbing, 
into dungeons, the horrors of which are well known 
in England, and of innumerable other wrongs. 

Nor was she hopeful as to the prospects of the 
promised reforms. 

Reform in Morocco [she says] cannot come from 
within, and any measure of amelioration, of her dis- 
graceful and deplorable condition, must be carried out 


by men brought up in other schools than hers, where 
misgovernment has the sanctity of antiquity and honest 
men are lacking. 

Mrs. Bishop and Mr. Summers returned to Marakesh 
on the 24th, and left again on April 29, on which 
day she continued her interesting letter to Mrs. Brown. 

The journey of twenty-one days is over. The last 
day I rode thirty miles and walked two. Is it not 
wonderful that even at my advanced age this life 
should affect me thus ? My horse is the great difficulty ; 
I have to mount from a step-ladder as high as the 
horse. It was a splendid journey; we were enter- 
tained everywhere at the great castles of the Berber 
sheiks as guests of the Sultan. The bridle tracts on 
the Atlas are awful mere rock-ladders, or smooth 
faces of shelving rock. We lamed two horses, and 
one mule went over a precipice, rolling over four 
times before he touched the bottom. We had guides, 
soldiers, and slaves with us. The weather was dry 
and bracing. To-day I had an interview with the 
Sultan through the good offices of Kaid Maclean. It 
was very interesting, but had to be very secretly 
managed, for fear of the fanatical hatred to Christians. 
I wish it could have been photographed the young 
Sultan on his throne on a high dai's, in pure white ; 
the minister of war also in white standing at the right 
below the steps of the throne ; Kaid Maclean in his 
beautiful Zouave uniform standing on the left and 
interpreting for me ; I standing in front below the steps 
of the throne, bare-headed and in black silk, the only 
European woman who has ever seen an Emperor of 
Morocco ! as I am the first who has ever entered the 
Atlas Mountains and who has ever visited the fierce 
Berber tribes. When I wished the Sultan long life and 
happiness at parting, he said that he hoped when his 
hair was as white as mine, he might have as much 
energy as I have ! So I am not quite shelved yet ! I 
feel much energy physically while the weather keeps 
cool as now, but none mentally even the writing a 
note is a burden so I have very reluctantly cancelled 
my engagements for June, and begin a northward 
journey of five hundred miles to live in tents and ride ! 
I now possess a mule and a camel ! 


Mrs. Bishop was inclined to agree, with the French 
Consul-General, that'much of the intellectual deteriora- 
tion and decay of the Arab race in Morocco, and much 
of the sensuality and brutal passion which disfigure 
it, are due to the enormous and continual infusion of 
African blood which was obvious everywhere. 

The Arab [she says] has lost, and is losing, the race 
characteristics which he brought with him from Asia, 
including the energy of conquest and the creative 
genius, which endowed Morocco with once beautiful 
buildings, now falling into unchecked decay. 

The Berber of the mountains, however, with his 
narrow head, somewhat classic features, tall and 
active form barely conquered by Roman or Arab- 
retains definite racial characteristics, and she con- 
sidered them by far the finest of the races which 
people Morocco. She says : 

The Berber mountaineers are a purer and finer race 
than the Arabs. . . . They are energetic, warlike, and 
hospitable ; fanatical Moslems, though most lax in 
religious observances; given to blood-feuds, tribal 
fighting, and manly games, and loving warfare above 
all other pastimes. The women, except those of the 
highest class, are not secluded or veiled, and have some 
influence in their villages. 

She kept a few notes of her ride in the Atlas, but of 
no other portion of her stay in Morocco, the " brain- 
fag," of which she complained in her letters, deterring 
her from all customary mental effort. For an account 
of the return ride, from Marakesh to Tangier, we are 
thrown back upon curt allusions in her letters and 
the entries in her diary. It lasted eight weeks and 
three days (April 30 June 27) ; Mogador and Saffi 
were her first resting-places, and at each she halted 
for three days. The locusts were ravaging the land, 


and sometimes her tent was full of them. On May 21 
she reached Dar al Baida, where she gladly camped 
in the hospital garden of the Casa Blanca for three 
days. The heat was great ; the plains were full of 
horsemen, for the tribes were at war, and mountaineers 
were descending to plunder caravans. 

Mrs. Bishop reached Fez, the northern capital, on 
June 8. Here she took many photographs, and spent 
a most interesting week, at the Consulate. At Fez, 
she says, which for wealth, trade, aristocratic families, 
learning, and energy may be regarded as the empire- 
city, discontent is strong. The Sultan's greatest safe- 
guard, she thought, lay in his sacred character, as 
lineal descendant of the prophet and head of the 
church, for there was general dissatisfaction with 
the regime and inactivity of the Sultan, with his 
foolish expenditure on costly trifles, and with the time 
spent by him on frivolous innovations, to the neglect 
of his royal duties. 

Here Mr. Harris, with whom she stayed at the 
Consulate, joined her caravan, and they rode together 
through a region disturbed with rumours of tribal war. 
At Dar, they were obliged to leave the main route, on 
which a caravan had been attacked and robbed, but 
they reached Wazam in safety and halted for four days. 
While she was in Wazam, she says 

some mountaineers abducted a young girl and her 
brother, and carried them off to the mountains, where 
neither Sultan nor Grand Shereef has any authority. 
The girl was sold to be trained as a dancing girl, and her 
captors refused to give her up except under conditions 
which no self-respecting power could accept. It is vain 
to demand of Morocco a daily indemnity till she is 
restored, and stronger measures are not likely to alter 
what is really the gist of the situation, that the Sultan 
has no power over the mountain tribes. 


An instance of the practice of brutal cruelties was 
told to her on good authority, as occurring during her 
visit in Southern Morocco, and, she says, it admits of 
no question. 

A high Court official was reported, truly or falsely, 
as having spoken disparagingly of the Sultan, and 
an order was signed for him to be thrown into 
the Mogador prison. Before leaving Morocco the 
palm of the culprit's hand was deeply gashed with 
two cross cuts, and a stone was inserted in the 
intersection, the hand being afterwards stitched up in 
a piece of raw hide, the shrinking of which produces 
great agony. Mercifully, gangrene supervened, and 
the victim died on the road to Mogador. The infliction 
of this punishment, either by placing a stone or salt 
and quicklime in the gashed palm, renders the hand 
useless for life. 

On June 24, with the thermometer at 104, they 
rode on, provided with an armed escort, to the farm of 
Mulai-el-Arbi, and were glad to rest till the following 
evening. They were now only two days' march from 
Tangier, but on the 26th were pursued by a party of 
armed and mounted Arabs, and had to ride for their 
lives through the hills till within three hours of 
Tangier. When the Arabs gave up the chase, 
Mrs. Bishop had to be lifted from " Saracen " and laid 
upon the ground with a cushion under her head. 
When she reached Tangier Dr. Roberts attended her, 
till she was well enough to leave for Gibraltar, on July 8. 

On the whole, Mrs. Bishop benefited by her long 
rides in Morocco. Tent life always suited her, and in 
spite of alarms she enjoyed the absolute novelty 
of her experiences. Without alarms and difficulties 
she would probably have accounted her venture a 



MRS. BISHOP went to Houghton, on her return from 
Morocco, and seems to have regarded the Elms as 
her home rather than Hartford Hurst, where that 
summer she slept only one night on August 13. 
The house had, as yet, no associations to draw her to 
it as to a home, and at the Elms she found unwearied 
care and tenderness, the beauty of grassy glades filled 
with flowers, the song of birds, a "chamber of the 
sunrise" which was kept for her, and the unvexed 
tranquillity of tested friendship. 

Mrs. Bishop paid many visits during July and 
August, then travelled north to Peterculter, to spend 
six weeks with the Miss Kers, on the River Dee, and 
with other friends in the north. On the whole she rested, 
and enjoyed her rest. Her article on Morocco, for The 
Monthly Review, was written just before she began 
another arduous round of missionary addresses. She 
writes : 

I had to go on to Sheffield to give twelve 
lectures on China, New Japan, and Morocco, and 
thence to the Bishop of Wakefield's, to lecture in 
seven of the Yorkshire towns, and afterwards here, 
there, and everywhere, having actually given forty-five 
lectures and addresses since October 17. I have 
only slept once in my own house for thirteen months ! 

On December 10 she continues : 

I shall never cease to grieve over having given up 
The Cottage. No house without memories and asso- 

369 24 

370 "I AM GOING HOME" [CHAP, xv 

ciations can ever be home to me, and I liked the free, 
quaint winter life, and going over to Aros on stormy 
afternoons, and being able to help the really poor. 

But a great loss befell her while she was lecturing 
at Sheffield. Between the spells of her public work, 
she was wont to return to Houghton. She was there 
from October 12 to the i6th, and spent her seventieth 
birthday with Mr. and Mrs. Brown. On the i6th 
Mr. Brown sat out-of-doors for some hours watching 
the gardener fill the grass with bulbs for next spring 
daffodils, narcissus, hyacinths, and tulips. It was 
damp, and he caught a chill, and died on the 24th. 
She hastened south and went to his funeral on the 
29th, spending four hours afterwards with her bereaved 
friend, and returning to town to Mrs. Palmer in the 

On November i, she drove over to Fulham Palace 
to fulfil an engagement made some months earlier. 
She had made the Bishop of London's acquaintance 
through their mutual friend Mrs. Palmer, and the 
acquaintance ripened rapidly to friendship. She stayed 
five days at Fulham quiet, happy days, during which 
she did her morning's writing sometimes in the 
Bishop's, sometimes in Mr. Cronshaw's, study. When 
the Bishop was at home they had long talks by the 
fire on death and life's purposes, and other deep 
matters of the spirit. Dr. Winnington Ingram 
remembers how industriously she developed and 
perfected her photographs, still taking lessons to 
increase her skill, and making, in 1901, 60 towards the 
support of the doctor in the Mission Hospital at 
Paoning-fu. He was impressed too by the pains she 
took to interest him in a friend, who had recently lost 
his wife, and whose grief was to some extent rendering 
him indifferent to life's claims. He found her, in all 

i 9 oi] AT FULHAM PALACE 371 

her varied and delightful talk, " sympathetic, tolerant, 
and taking complex views which saved her from 
narrowness." The first week of that November was 
very foggy ; and on the 3rd, when she returned to the 
palace from seeing a friend off, the fog was so dense 
that, in the obscurity, she ran up against the wall of the 
palace and was badly stunned. The Bishop teased 
her about having "just escaped coming to an end 
of all her long travels, at Fulham." 

This visit was followed by a brief return to Houghton, 
and then she began another continuous missionary 
campaign, which included Wakefield, Halifax, Barnsley, 
Dewsbury, Sowerby Edge, Huddersfield, Wimbledon, 
Reading, Peterborough, Tattenhall, Manchester, 
Lancaster, Swinton, Macclesfield, and Rugby. 

It was probably on this journey that she crushed 
her right thumb, in the hinge of a railway-carriage 
door. She had an adventurous winter journey 
between Ford Hall and Macclesfield. 

Mine was the last train [she wrote to Mrs. Palmer] 
which got through the snowdrifts in the Peak, and 
to-day no passengers are booked. With men cutting 
the drifts in the park, and a number of horses perhaps 
eight dragging the brougham up the hill, and the 
hurricane which threatened to overturn it it was 
most exciting. Then we were three hours going 
seventeen miles, and were twice put out in knee-deep 
snow ; and when we got here, where I had to give a 
lecture, there were no cabs at the station. There is 
a wild state of excitement here. Macclesfield is quite 
cut off from all telegraph communication, and hardly 
any trains are running. 

On her return from this tour she stayed four days 
with Mrs. Palmer, and on one of these I spent a 
couple of afternoon hours with her. She looked white 
and still, but was full of interest in all my work and 
anxious about my health. Of herself she spoke as 

372 "I AM GOING HOME" [CHAP, xv 

holding on to life precariously, as working while it 
was day, conscious of the gathering twilight. Houghton 
and Reigate filled up the last ten days of 1901. 

Mrs. Bishop began her diary for 1902 with the lines : 

Upon a life I did not live, 
Upon a death I did not die 

Another's life another's death 
I stake my whole eternity. 

She was at Reigate till January 18, and this pro- 
longed rest partially fitted her for a period of activity 
in lecturing, paying visits, and entertaining visitors. 
She was occasionally at Hartford Hurst for the last 
purpose, but more frequently at lodgings in London, 
where her time was divided detween mornings spent 
in taking advanced photographic lessons at the 
Polytechnic chiefly in enlarging photographs and 
in afternoon and evening engagements of every kind. 

It is impossible to do more than single out, of their 
multitude, a few of the more interesting of these 
occasions. Her right thumb was still swollen, and 
gave her considerable trouble for about six months, 
when it was cured by a slight operation. This made 
writing difficult, so we find that her literary faculty 
was but scantily exercised, and was only occupied 
that winter with an illustrated paper for the January 
Leisure Hour, and with four letters to The Daily 
Chronicle, all on the subject of Morocco. Mrs. Bishop 
wrote to Mrs. Bullock on January 6 : 

I have not slept in my own house, but purpose to 
return to it on January 17. I intended to go to China 
last October, but gave it up, partly because of the 
unsettled state of the country, and partly because, had 
I gone, I feared that I should lose touch with English 
interests and friends altogether. But if I have strength 
enough for travelling, I hope to go to China in the 
early autumn, but it will be very different without you 
and Mr. Bullock. 


In a letter of later date, written to Sir Walter 
Hillier, she gave some particulars of the journey 
contemplated : 

I had fully purposed to travel by the Jung-ting Lake 
to Kwei-chou, thence to Tali-fu, and thence to Kia- 
ting-fu on the Yangtze ; but it is very uncertain now, 
for I have been going down ever since October. 

Mr. and Mrs. Bullock were now settled at Oxford, 
where Mrs. Bishop paid them a visit from March 6 
to 10, on the first of which days she spoke, at Trinity 
Hall, on missions. She had already been at Oxford 
on February 10, and had then addressed two meetings, 
one at Hannington Hall, and one at the Town 
Hall. But while with Mr. and Mrs. Bullock she 
rested, and enjoyed meeting their interesting 
visitors, the Vice-Chancellor, Principal Fairbairn, the 
Margoliouths, and others. 

But the most interesting of all her lecture engage- 
ments, in March, :was one to Winchester School on 
Friday, the 2ist. She described the occasion in a 
letter to Mrs. Bullock, whose son was at Winchester : 

Dr. Burge gave an excellent account of him. I was 
so sorry not to see him ; he must have been in deep 
shadow. It was a delightful audience, full of the 
blessed enthusiasm of youth. They say that my 
lecture lasted two hours, but the lantern slides 
accounted for three-quarters of an hour. I very much 
enjoyed lecturing, and thought Dr. Burge charming. 

From Winchester she went home to Hartford 
Hurst, and was almost immediately seized with 
influenza, which kept her indoors for a fortnight and 
left her very weak, but this did not prevent her 
going to London on April 7, to take more lessons 
in photography. While convalescent at the Hurst, 
she took up her old occupation of gardening, sowed 

374 "I AM GOING HOME" [CHAP, xv 

seeds, and rolled the lawn. She was busy, too, with 
one of her most important missionary addresses, 
"Where are the Women?" which she delivered at 
Holloway College, Egham, on April 10, at a meeting 
presided over by Dr. Marshall Lang. The girl 
students presented her with an address of thanks 
that evening, signed with their names. The occasion 
for which her address was prepared was a conference, 
the meetings of which she enjoyed so much that at 
their close she entered in her diary: "Very sorry for 
the break-up ; conference quite delightful ; I think 
I shall never be at another." She was indeed 
seriously ill. 

I learn [she wrote on May 18] that I am threatened 
with a serious and fatal malady. I want to be sure of 
the truth, and, though I am so weak that I cannot sit 
up at a table, I purpose to start to-morrow and travel 
by easy stages to Edinburgh, in order to see my old 
doctors, who know my constitution. I am not dis- 
tressed, though there are some things that I should 
like to see out. 

On Saturday, the 24th, she reached Edinburgh, saw 
Dr. Ritchie on the 26th, and Sir Halliday Croom and 
Dr. Ritchie on the 2/th. Both took a very grave view 
of her condition. A fibrous tumour was enlarging 
in the neighbourhood of lungs and heart, the old 
symptoms of heart disease were reappearing. She 
stayed with Miss Cullen at 15 Greenhill Gardens, 
and was much comforted by the affectionate devotion 
of this most valued friend. 1 It was a quiet time for 
meditation and realisation. She saw few people, 
sometimes walked or drove with Miss Cullen, and 
returned to England and Hartford Hurst on June 21. 

It is startling to find her with Mrs. Palmer at 

1 Miss Cullen passed away early in 1906. 

i9oa] BROKEN HEALTH 375 

10 Grosvenor Crescent on the 23rd. The country 
was plunged into gloom and anxiety by the King's 
illness, and Mrs. Bishop deeply shared the general 
distress. She returned to the Hurst- for a few days, 
and then went first to Mount Street to the Miss Kin- 
nairds, and, on July 7, to Cambridge for a photographic 
convention, which lasted five days. She went home 
on the 1 2th, and her beloved old friends the Miss Kers 
came to her on the i6th. Their visit was an induce- 
ment to stay at home till August 6, when they left, 
and she entered in her diary " so sad to lose them." 

On the Qth she watched the coronation procession 
from Mr. Murray's windows, and then paid some 
visits, before returning to the Hurst for five weeks. 
During this time she went early to bed, resting a 
great deal did little indeed but print, tone, and 
enlarge photographs, water the newly planted 
creepers which had come from the cottage in Tober- 
mory, and sew. But she was packing for China by 
fits and starts. After a time of rest she felt better ; 
and she had so often developed resources of endurance, 
in spite of the warnings and verdict of her doctors, 
that she still cherished a hope in favour of the expedi- 
tion. They were to give her a final opinion in 
September, and she travelled north to see them on the 
25th, joined the Miss Kers for a fortnight, and then 
went for a month to be with Miss Cullen. She saw 
Dr. Ritchie constantly, and decided to give up the 
Hurst, as he and his colleagues agreed that the 
situation close to the Ouse, the over-flowings and 
mists from which saturated soil and atmosphere, 
rendered the house unwholesome and devitalising. 

On her way home she lectured at Sunderland, 
Gateshead, and Durham, and paid a very pleasant 
four days' visit to her cousins at Knaresborough. The 

376 "I AM GOING HOME" [CHAP, xv 

Miss Kers joined her at the Hurst, early in December, 
and helped her, all that month and January, to prepare 
for leaving Hartford finally on February i. An 
opportunity for letting the house had occurred, and 
she surrendered her lease to Dr. Baker, who agreed to 
take possession then. During these two months, 
therefore, she and her friends were busy cataloguing 
books and linen, packing curios and china, dismantling 
the house she had used so little. 

A letter to Mrs. Allan dated December 23, 1902, 
gives some account of her feelings at the time : 

I returned from Edinburgh three weeks ago, and am 
now confined to bed, so I can only make a very brief 
reply to your delightful and most interesting letter. 
All your news I appreciate heartily. I saw several 
Tobermory people in Edinburgh, and always feel the 
deepest interest in Tobermory. I often wish I were 
looting down from my sunny cottage on the little bay, 
or fighting my way to Aros on some stormy winter 
afternoon. I was so sorry that I could not visit you at 
Aros, as you kindly wished last summer. I have been 
seriously ill ever since last April, and mostly in Edin- 
burgh for medical advice; but as the doctors decide 
that nothing can be done, I came home three weeks 
ago and have been considerably worse. The doctors 
urged me strongly, on the ground of the soft climate 
and the size of the house, to give up my lovely home, 
and I must be out of it by February i. It has such a 
lovely garden, and grounds sloping to the broad deep 
river an old-world place, to which I have become 
attached, but it is fitter for a large family than for me. 
Leaving it has, however, nothing of the pain it gave 
me to leave Tobermory. Most of my things will be 
dispersed, as I am not likely to have a house again, 
and they will be useful to many people. I am so glad 
to get such a good account of the V.W.C.A. Branch. 
It is the one flourishing thing in Tobermory! I 
enclose my subscription to it and the nurse. 

Blair (Mrs. Williamson) said in speaking of those 
last months : 


The longest stay Mrs. Bishop ever made at the 
Hurst was when she packed up to leave it, and she 
grew more attached to it then than at any time during 
the four years she held it. 

On January 23 she moved to the Elms, where for 
a week she slept, going over to the Hurst daily to 
superintend Whiteley's men, until this troublesome 
removal was over. It was not till February 2 that she 
was released from its toil, and went to stay a few days 
with the Miss Kinnairds, before settling in the wretched 
lodgings in London, which she had unfortunately 
engaged, and from which, after six weeks' endurance, 
she changed to Lexham Gardens. 

A letter to Mrs. Mooyaart (March 25) gives a 
glimpse of her discomfort in town and of her relief 
during a short visit to her correspondent at East- 

Bessie came up on Friday and again on Saturday. 
She brought sunshine with her and left my rooms 
dark. She brought food too ! I managed with 
difficulty to get away on Monday evening and came 
for a few days' rest to the Miss Kinnairds. I have 
taken on trial the rooms at Lexham Gardens, which 
you marked as superior, and propose to go there on 
Friday. It was a grievous change from the loving 
shelter of your roof, to the solitude and squalid neglect 
of my lodgings, to say nothing of vile food which I 
could not even taste after Mary s nice cooking and the 
dainty serving. I am forgetting the pain and re- 
member only the peaceful rest of those days, and your 
dear, bright presence, and the serene and blessed com- 
munion, all forming an oasis in a life which has not so 
much of brightness. Thank you, dear friend, for all 
your loving-kindness. You never suffered me to feel 
that my misfortune one of her sudden attacks of pain] 
was putting you to inconvenience, though I know full 
well that it did. It was a sweet time to me, and the 
reading of dear Alexina's life is a very precious part of 
it. I fear I am not strong enough for even the quietest 

378 "I AM GOING HOME" [CHAP, xv 

life in London, at least in lodgings ; yet I like the 
interests here so much and the little work that I 
can do. 

The " life " alluded to consisted of some reminiscences 
written before her death by Miss Alexina Ker, one 
of those friends with whom Miss Clayton had lived, 
and whose house had been a second home to Mrs. 
Bishop. These reminiscences embraced especially 
nineteen years' work, with Miss de Broen, in the 
Belleville Mission. A great friendship had existed 
between Alexina Ker and Mrs. Mooyaart. 

Mrs. Bishop lingered in London till August, as 
her new lodgings were quite comfortable. But her 
public work had to be cut down. Towards the end 
of April, she was occupied with the making of her 
will, which was duly signed on May i. She had 
ever considered herself the steward of her capital, 
bound to invest it to the best advantage, that she 
might draw from it an income which enabled her to 
assist the societies in which she was interested, and 
to support her own hospitals. But besides, she kept 
a well-filled purse, for the purpose of giving away 
money, privately, when she came in contact with the 
needs of others, and this purse was supplied by 
cutting down her own personal expenses to the 
uttermost. No one, not even those most with her, 
knew in what directions this money was distributed, 
for she tried to live " on evangelical lines," and as little 
as possible to let her left hand know what her right 
hand gave. Her will, when it came to be generally 
known, illustrated this deep-lying principle. 

Amongst the friends whom she saw most often were 
Mrs. Palmer, Mrs. Bickersteth, Mrs. J. R. Green, Miss 
Kinnaird, the Bishop of London, Sir Walter Hillier, 
Mr. Cronshaw. She was twice at the House of 


Commons, and took tea on the Terrace with her 
friends. On July 8 she lectured at Holloway College, 
to eighty returned lady missionaries of the Church 
Missionary Society, Mr. Baring Gould being chair- 
man, and then went home with Lady Meath to 
Ottershaw, Chertsey, writing thence to a cousin : 

I am attempting a very quiet country visit for the 
first time this year, my hosts being the Earl of Meath 
and his wife. Quiet as it is, in the heart of forest and 
heather, the amount of effort required in this tre- 
mendous heat is too much for me, and I purpose to 
return to town to-morrow till August, when I shall give 
up my lodging, store my superfluities at Whiteley's, 
and pay two or three visits to friends with whom I am 
very intimate, on my way to Edinburgh, where my 
doctors wish to see me that they may advise me as to 
future plans. I have not had one of those incapacitating 
attacks of pain for nearly six weeks much pain of a 
less severe kind and very much discomfort. I must 
be stronger than I was three months ago, because I 
manage to do more, though I am the victim of a constant 
feeling of lassitude and fatigue, which, if I did not 
make an effort, would keep me always in bed. The 
malady has, however, increased. I have been once to 
the communion, and could go to church were it not for 
cramp. I attend some committees and have been to 
the Archbishop's and Bishop of London's garden 
parties. I don't want to be an invalid before the time, 
and am trying to be as plucky as possible. I know 
that I shall not be forsaken in any case, and this 
knowledge makes me feel cheerful and calm, great as 
is the change in my life. 

Another interest, of that last residence in London, 
was the Church Army, on behalf of which she spoke 
more than once. 

Dr. Ritchie was in town in July, and saw her on the 
I4th; his verdict was grave, and he entreated her 
to consult a London physician, of whose immediate 
help she was in great need. It was impossible to be 
in town and to extricate herself from a vortex of 

3 8o "I AM GOING HOME" [CHAP, xv 

engagements, so she left for Houghton on August 5, 
after a "fearful hunt" of packing, storing, bidding 
farewells last farewells. She was very ill all the 
time she stayed with Mrs. Brown, more than three 
weeks, and was in bed or on the sofa, almost unable 
to use her feet, and with one leg in agony, from 

I have a fibroid tumour [she wrote] which is 
increasing, and the pressure of which, on the yeins of 
the right side, has produced a blood clot, which has 
been a great risk to life, and may produce others. 

Mrs. Brown was distressed at the necessity for her 
journey to Edinburgh ; but Mrs. Bishop wished to be 
under Dr. Ritchie's care, so she left Houghton on 
August 29, accompanied by a nurse as far as Peter- 
borough, from which station she travelled to Knares- 
borough, where her cousins met her. She enjoyed the 
two days spent with them. On Monday, the 3ist, 
the Miss Kers met her and took charge of her to 
Edinburgh. She had consented to go for a short time 
to a Nursing Home at n Manor Place, and there, 
almost immediately after her arrival, she became very 
seriously ill. On September i a consultation was 
held, at which Dr. Gibson, Dr. Fordyce, Dr. Affleck, 
and Dr. Ritchie were all present. She was almost 
unconscious, and this condition lasted for some days 
and was succeeded by dangerous symptoms, from 
which she was hardly expected to recover. 

A touching letter to Mrs. J. R. Green, dated 
October 25, 1903, gives some account of this illness : 

This is my first line since August 15. I have been 
walking through the valley of death's shadow, and the 
doctors consider me still dangerously ill and without 
hope of recovery or prolonged life. My illness seized 
me on arriving. Some singular affection of the veins 


and heart not previously known. One feature is blue 
rings and broken veins all over my heart and chest. 
Breath often nearly ceases, and there is no strength. 
My brain is quite clear. I cannot think that the end 
can be far off. I have all my old interests and daily 
new ones, and am not depressed, for I believe that 
mercy and goodness will follow me, as they have done, 
all the days of my life, and that we poor stumbling 
children of humanity will have some better thing 

After two months at the Nursing Home, she said 
one day : " I am not going to be a cipher any longer," 
and it was decided to remove her to rooms at 
Bruntsfield Terrace, chosen for her by Miss Cullen, 
and close to her house. On October 30, Miss 
Mackenzie lending her carriage, she was gently driven 
there, accompanied by Miss Bessie Ker and the nurse. 
Just before her removal, she dictated a letter to Sir 
Walter Hillier, from which^we learn that, though she 
had improved, she was still seriously ill, and that she 
suffered much from weakness of the eyes. She could 
read very little and disliked being read to, but she 
kept up her interest in the main events of home and 
Eastern politics, and, as Dr. Ritchie was, fortunately, 
a politician, could talk them over with him. 

In another letter to Sir Walter Hillier, written by 
Miss Ker, on November 4, we read : 

Mrs. Bishop enjoys the higher situation and more 
open view of these rooms. The doctor would be glad 
for her to go out for an occasional drive, but she must 
be carried downstairs, as well as up, and dislikes it so 
much that we have not yet made it out. 

Her rooms were at the back of the house, and she could 
see from her bedroom window always kept open 
the Pentland Hills beyond a foreground of trees and 
gardens. While in bed, she looked on the backs of 

382 "I AM GOING HOME" [CHAP, xv 

big houses, let in flats. But she was interested in the 
lives of their tenants, and knew the ways of each 
family, and at what o'clock their members had to get 
up, and go their several ways to work. The drawing- 
room was on the same floor as her bedroom, but she 
would rarely allow herself to be wheeled in, to see the 

A great and a new difficulty lay in her dislike of 
food. This was a serious one, for her appetite was 
capricious. But Miss Cullen brought dainty dinners 
nearly every day, and friends, far and near, sent game 
and other delicacies to tempt her. 

After three weeks she could write to some of her 
friends. A letter dated November 18 is to Mrs. 
Macdiarmid : 

MY BELOVED CHILD, Your chicken was quite 
delicious, almost the only thing I have enjoyed during 
this long illness. And your sweet letter, which I was 
not allowed to read for weeks after it came, was very 
precious to me. I am not allowed to write, but I want 
to tell you with my own pen how dear her child ever 
is to me and how much I long to see you before I take 
the last solemn journey. 

And to Dr. and Mrs. Main, in China, she writes 
(November 30) : 

I have been ill for two years, ever since I came back 
from Morocco, and all this year seriously ill, and for the 
last sixteen weeks laid up dangerously ill, and I am still 
in so critical a state that I am not allowed to stand, or 
stoop, or reach anything that I need. On September i 
I became so exhausted that four doctors and three 
nurses had much trouble in keeping my heart going, 
and now thrombosis has assailed another vein. I tell 
you all these particulars to account for my painful 
silence. ... I know, dear friends, you will forgive me, 
especially as my explanation is accompanied by 2$, 
for the most clamant of your new enterprises. I read 
every word you write with deep interest, and recall 

i9o 3 ] SOME LAST LETTERS 383 

those golden days of my visit to you, when your work 
took so strong a hold on me, and the charms of 
Hangchow and its beautiful neighbourhood. . . . 
Though I have been growing worse and weaker all this 
year, I had planned a journey to China by the Trans- 
Siberian railway, halting at Mukden and then going to 
Peking on a two months' visit to Sir Ernest Satow. 
You may be sure that my after-plan included a short 
visit to you at Hangchow. My heart was greatly set 
on this, and when I left London, I left there my 
luggage packed for Peking, intending to pick it up on 
the 6th. I got here and think it more than likely 
that my next journey will be to the grave of my 
kindred in the Dean Cemetery. My public work went 
on till I could no longer stand. My brain is clear and 
capable, and I could do literary work were it not for 
the physical labour of writing. These few lines have 
taken parts of twenty-one days. You cannot imagine 
my disappointment about China. It captivated and 
enthralled me and I did hope to see it once again. It 
is harder to give up than all else. Medical mission 
affairs are going on well under Dr. Ritchie's most 
capable presidentship. On Friday there was a great 
function the opening by Lord Aberdeen of the com- 
plete and beautiful new buildings with recreation 
rooms, a gymnasium and restaurant, the latter built by 
Mr. Barbour of Bonskeid. Missions, home and 
foreign, have lost much by the sudden removal of 
Mr. J. H. Wilson of the Barclay Church. His funeral 
procession, which passed along here, was the longest 
I ever saw here. You see that my writing is failing 
and I must stop. I think much of you and pray for 
your work. 

Mrs. Bishop watched Mr. Wilson's funeral, from 
the drawing-room windows, for the longest time she 
ever spent there. 

The next letter of the short series written before 
the close of 1903 was to Miss Macdonald, and is dated 
December 7 : 

It is so seldom that I can sit up sufficiently to write 
that I will take advantage of having been in bed all 
day to get up for an hour. You have been so good 


384 "-I AM GOING HOME" [CHAP, xv 

in writing me so many interesting letters without one 
reply, and I hope to write to your dear mother very 
soon. In the meantime, give my best love to her and 
thanks for her letters. Also say to her that if she 
must do something for me (she who has done so 
much !) I should be delighted with a small bun. It 
is really the only thing that I fancy. . . . How many 
congenial hours I have spent at Heanish ! I think of 
The Cottage, and of your visits to me and the daily 
intercourse between it and Heanish with mingled 
pleasure and sorrow, and yet I now fully recognise 
the hand of God leading me to leave it when I did. I 
have been going down of late, and suffer a good deal 
more ; but I am still able to be out of bed about two 
hours a day, but never to be dressed. If you see 
Mr. Campbell tell him that I shall be very glad to see 
him. When I write this, I remember very solemnly 
how at any moment my sorely diseased heart may 
give way, and I may be in eternity. My work is done : 
oh that it had been done better ! 

She was able to see a few visitors daily, and 
amongst them Dr. Whyte, Dr. Macgregor, Canon 
Cowley Brown, Mrs. Lorimer, and Miss Stodart. 
Mr. Dawson, of St. Peter's, offered to bring her the 
communion, and she gratefully accepted, for the 
morning of December 10. She had given up making 
entries in her diary, but she recorded this most 
solemn event. Dr. Whyte's visits were a joy and a 
solace to her. She said to me one day : 

You and I remember a very different Edinburgh, 
one where not the purse, but the heart and the brain 
ranked highest. I miss those brilliant people of long 
ago so much. One man comes to see me who recalls 
them all, and is like a voice from a nobler past, and 
that is Dr. Whyte, of Free St. George's. 

Dr. Whyte, not knowing how much she valued his 
visits, writes : 

I was the invalid during those remarkable weeks 
and Mrs. Bishop was the comforter and the consoler. 

I903 ] "THE ETERNAL GATE" 385 

Her intellectual freshness and her spiritual ripeness 
and tenderness were a constant delectation to me. 
Our talks were always about books, old and new, and 
about the best articles which were appearing in the 
quarterlies and in the monthlies and in the weeklies. 
And when I read a Scripture to her, which was 
usually of her own selection, she would look and 
listen as if she had never heard such important and 
such wonderful things before and might not live to 
hear them again. She was a woman of the truest 
genius, and of the greatest mental power of resource 
to the end. I always left her room refreshed and 
exhilarated. An eminent means of grace and a source 
of real enjoyment closed to me when Mrs. Bishop 

Mrs. Bishop was sending out her New Year's cards 
during December, 1903. Whittier's lines on the 
" Eternal Gate " formed her last pathetic and solemn 
message to her friends : 

The hour is sure, howe'er delayed and late, 

When at the Eternal Gate 
We leave the words and works we call our own, 

And lift void hands alone 
For love to fill. Our nakedness of soul 

Brings to that gate no toll : 
Giftless we come to Him, who all things gives, 

And live because He lives. 
God grant, my friend, the service of our days, 

In differing moods and ways, 
May prove to those who follow in our train 

Not valueless or vain. 

Mrs. Bishop enclosed this card to Lady Middleton 
on December 31, and wrote: 

This is my only letter, for I am very ill, but I must 
tell you what a joy it is to be remembered by you, 
and in my own hand. I must wish you and your 
lord all good things for the coming year and a con- 
tinuation of what you have in such large measure 
plenty of congenial work and power to do it. I thank 
you for your faithful affection. 


386 "I AM GOING HOME" [CHAP, xv 

About the same time she wrote to Mrs. Macdonald : 

I am enjoying your bun. I like rich things, and it 
is the first I have had for months. It is deliciously 
made. I cannot write, and must content myself this 
day with sending a little parcel, containing a Shetland 
vest for you, and an electric flashlight for Maggie to 
see her watch with at night. It should be good for a 
thousand flashes. The packet tied up with a string is 
a refill. 

She lay in bed, her limbs almost powerless, her 
hand hardly able to hold pen or pencil, but her mind 
clear and vigorous, her mood tranquil, awaiting the 
long-delayed summons. Friends surrounded her with 
flowers and palms, in pots and in vases. Her bedroom 
was filled with them. Sometimes she would hold the 
fragrant blossoms in her hand as if she loved them, 
talking about them and their like of other years 
the roses, tulips, anemones, Christmas roses of The 
Cottage, and, further back, of Tattenhall and Taplow 
Hill. Her laughter was as responsive as ever; she 
was indeed more evenly cheerful than in bygone years, 
and her friends delighted to be with her. Miss Cullen, 
beloved and faithful, came daily ; Miss Chalmers and 
Miss Constance Shore were constant in their visits. 
All helped in the vexed question of food, the only real 
difficulty at this time. A letter to Lady Middleton 
(January 16, 1904) says : 

You are indeed good to wish to help with my 
provender. I have been thinking how I could take 
advantage of your offer, and I will ask you to send me 
some chrysanthemums, some pears, and a little game 
pie ! I am literally in danger of sinking from inanition, 
absolute loathing of food. Even a few lines from you 
brighten a day. 1 bless God for your faithful friend- 
ship and for your capacity to uplift other people. 
I have never quite lost the inspiriting effect of a visit 
you paid me in Earl's Terrace four years ago. I think 

I904 ] VISITORS 387 

I shall never recross the Tweed. You will like to 
know that my spirit is brave and strong, that the 
doctor says my brain has " singular force, clearness, 
and grip," and that my interest in all things is vivid 
to a degree. If I should be a little stronger, I purpose 
to write a fragment of autobiography. 

This purpose was, alas ! never fulfilled. The mere 
act of writing grew more and more difficult, till at 
last she could not hold even a pencil for longer than 
a few seconds at a time. She grieved to be unable 
to answer letters. " People write to me now," 
she said, " even though they don't want anything ! " 
Long letters from Mrs. Brown, from Sir Walter 
Hillier, from acquaintances who lived in the mid- 
current of political and diplomatic life, delighted her. 
Amongst her occasional visitors were Mrs. Keswick, 
Sir Harry Parkes's daughter, who twice took a 
journey to see her ; Mrs. Howard Taylor (Geraldine 
Guinness), who, to her very great pleasure, came on 
March 30 ; and Mr. Summers, her kind and efficient 
fellow traveller in Morocco. 

A longing to be in London came over her in spring, 
but it was decided that her removal, from the constant 
care of Dr. Ritchie, Sir Halliday Croom, and Dr. 
Fordyce, would be hazardous, even if the journey 
were safely accomplished by ambulance car. So 
London friends, coming north and going south that 
summer, came to see her, and Edinburgh friends never 
intermitted their ministrations. Amongst the latter 
was one who too quickly followed her to the grave, 
Miss Flora Stevenson, one of the most brilliant and 
valuable citizens of the northern capital. She went 
to see Mrs. Bishop several times, and was astonished 
at her fortitude, her deep interest in all things in- 
tellectual and philanthropic, in all public questions, 

388 "I AM GOING HOME" [CHAP, xv 

and even in social events. Even then it was possible 
to note Mrs. Bishop's many-sidedness, her picturesque- 
ness of language, her use of words and epithets 
which seldom appear in common discourse. She 
talked much about the war in the Far East, and was 
astonished at its course, and she could not believe 
that the Japanese successes would continue to the 
end. Her experiences, in Manchuria and in Korea, 
had so prepossessed her in favour of the Russians 
that she did not desire their ultimate defeat. She 
feared too that the first check of the West by the 
East might not prove to be the last, if the nations, 
so long inert, were roused to recognise the might of 

I was in Edinburgh in May, 1904, and saw her twice. 
My visits were limited, by letter, to half an hour, but she 
detained me for an hour and a half on both occasions. 
All obvious symptoms of her condition had dis- 
appeared ; her face was white and clear, her eyes 
were bright and cheerful. She awaited the coming 
of death with serene and radiant expectation. Her 
window was wide open, and the Pentland Hills were 
blue and beautiful. She held up her white, delicate 
hands and looked at them. " They will not obey me 
now," she said, " and oh ! I have so much to say to the 
world as I lie here, for my brain is strong and 
thoughts crowd upon each other and I cannot write 
them, for I cannot hold even a pencil for more than 
a few moments, and I have never been able to dictate." 
She asked many questions about my cottage and 
garden at Kelso. Then she said : " I should like you 
to remember me by flowers, Anna. There were roses 
and Christmas roses, Madonna lilies, tulips, and 
anemones in my garden at Tobermory. Will you have 
all these varieties planted in your garden, and when 

1904] BOOKS READ 389 

they blossom year by year, will you remember me ? " 
Need I say that they are all in my garden ? 

Soon after my second visit, the Miss Kers were 
obliged to leave her for a time, and her cousin, Miss 
Margaret Lawson, came to take her place during their 
enforced absence. Her visit was a great pleasure to 
Mrs. Bishop, and she liked Miss Lawson to go about, 
and to see all that was interesting in Edinburgh, and 
then to give her a full account of the day's doings 
when she returned. Miss Lawson has sent me some 
reminiscences of this time which can be quoted : 

I was a month with my dear cousin and very 
pleasant we both found our time together. She was 
so wonderfully cheerful and uncomplaining. When 
I said to her how trying it was for her to be lying 
there unable to move, she said : " I have never once 
thought it hard ! " One day I remarked how patient 
she was, and she answered : " I am not patient ; I would 
much rather be going about." I said her patient 
bearing of what was laid on her was a greater work 
in God's sight than all the hospitals she had founded 
and platform speeches she had made. She seemed to 
understand this, but would not take any praise to 
herself. She said to me one day : " I never thought 
very much of myself." Then another day : " I should 
very much like to do something more for people, but 
I can do nothing." 

She felt unable to look down at this time, and this 
made reading difficult, but she managed to read 
Dr. Whyte's Scripture Characters and Cicero's Old Age 
with great enjoyment, and could sometimes glance 
through a story-book from the library. 

I am afraid [writes Miss Bessie Ker] that she felt 
very much her absence from London and the being cut 
off from news of all the committees in which she had 
taken part. She would have liked, too, to be near 
Whiteley's Store and to get out some of her beloved 

390 "I AM GOING HOME" [CHAP, xv 

" things." But it was perhaps mercifully arranged so 
as to detach her from a world in whose doings she 
took so lively an interest, and from " things " whose 
associations her intense nature turned to with longing. 
She had hankered after them, but when, on one of the 
last days, I asked her if she regretted them, she replied : 
" Not a spark." It was a great loss to her that we 
were not politicians and could not talk over the papers 
with her, but Dr. Ritchie brought her all news which 
he thought would interest her. 

Blair (Mrs. Williamson) was now with her, and 
nursed her devotedly. Several nurses had been 
tried and found wanting, and it was a comfort to 
all when Blair was installed in the post. The 
doctors were anxious that she should not see so 
many visitors, and on June 27 she was removed to 
a Nursing Home in Ainslie Place, where, for a short 
time, the greater rest and the novelty had a cheering 
effect upon her. But she made it a condition with 
her doctors, that she was not to be " concussed " into 
remaining there any longer than she liked. The Miss 
Kers took up their quarters at the Queen, a private 
hotel, and saw her daily. Sir Walter Hillier spent 
two days in Edinburgh expressly to see her. Feebly, 
and in pencil, she had written to him on July 16: 
" Your suggested plan will suit me admirably. I hope 
to see you, for a few minutes, on Saturday evening and 
two or three times on Sunday." She enjoyed his visits 
exceedingly and often referred to them afterwards. 

At times Lady Middleton sent her flowers and food, 
lilies of the valley, a leveret, a cream cheese. To her 
she wrote : 

It is a marvel to me that you can think of the 
culinary needs of the decaying casing of your far-off 
" little soul." The leveret and its stuffing were 
delicious, nicer than anything I have had for nine 
months. How I wish I could write, for my outwardly 

i9o 4 ] MRS. BROWN'S VISIT 391 

dull life is full of vivid interest, and I have so much I 
should like to say to your sympathetic ears. 

The improvement was more apparent than real ; 
soon she sank into greater debility than before her 
change of quarters. It irked her to be under another 
roof than were the Miss Kers, and she begged them 
to find rooms where they could all be together. This 
was late in August, when a niece of Dr. Bishop's 
was home from America, and was paying them a 
visit, and she helped Miss Bessie Ker in the hunt 
for lodgings, which were finally found at 18 Melville 
Street, whither she was driven in Miss Mackenzie's 
carriage on September 12. The drive was so com- 
fortable and pleasant to her that she wished it could 
have been prolonged. She was scarcely installed 
in her new surroundings, when a summons to London 
obliged the Miss Kers to leave her, for a week. Miss 
Lawson came again to take their place, having Blair 
and another nurse to help her. Daily bulletins were 
sent to them in London, but they were far from 
reassuring, and when their business was despatched 
they hastened back, to find her perceptibly weaker. 
Mrs. Brown arrived, on September 28, for five days. 
Her presence was a joy to Mrs. Bishop, who, though 
now too feeble for conversation, loved to look on the 
tender and beautiful face of her trusted friend. So 
Mrs. Brown sat long hours beside her bed, now and 
then exchanging a word, oftener a smile. When the 
parting came, on October 3, it was tragic to both, 
for both knew that the hours were numbered. Mrs. 
Bishop grew rapidly worse. Dr. Ritchie felt that if 
there were anything left for her to settle, it must be 
done at once. She said : " This seems to have come 
very quickly," and then asked that the hymn " Abide 
with me" might be read to her. 

392 "I AM GOING HOME" [CHAP, xv 

When the business was over she was relieved, and 
from that moment, she set herself to the glad welcoming 
of release. 

Mrs. Blackie sent to inquire for her on one of those 
days. " Tell her," she said, " that I am going home." 

She heard cathedral bells ringing at times when no 
one else could hear them. Once Miss Bessie Ker 
asked her if she liked cathedrals. "Yes," she said, 
" I think I do : they are so associated with my child- 
hood." When Miss Ker asked "which?" she said 
" Chester " in a tone of surprise that her friend did not 
know without being told. 

Once the word " peace " was heard upon her lips. 
" You have that, have you not ? " asked her devoted 
friend. " Yes," she murmured, " and it is wonderful." 
Then again : " There are very few who manage their 
life on evangelical lines, for evangelical destinies. 
I have tried, but it is very difficult. There can be 
nothing new for any of us ; all has been revealed, all 
done, all written." 

On the morning of her last day she was heard to 
pray : " Keep me this day without sin, this day without 
sin, THIS day." Then she turned to Miss Ker : " Pray 
that I may have an abundant entrance." 

Later in the morning she asked Blair to pray for 
her, and then said radiantly : " Oh ! what shouting 
there will be!" It was a family phrase for excited, 
happy talking after separation, and her thoughts were 
with the nearest and dearest, whom she was soon to 

They were her last words on earth ; at five minutes 
past midday, on October 7, her spirit fled. 

The funeral took place on Monday, October 10. Her 
cousin, the Rev. James Grant Bird, the rector of 
Staleybridge, shared with her friend, Canon Cowley 

Ig o 4 ] THE LIFE ETERNAL 393 

Brown, the services in the house and at the grave in 
Dean Cemetery, to which she herself, during her last 
days, had made all arrangements to bring her husband's 
coffin, from the cemetery at Cannes. There some 
members of the Medical Mission sang "Now the 
labourer's task is o'er." 

Mayhap, new tasks are set 

The willing labourer there, 
Mayhap she would not yet 

Have rest from toil and prayer ; 
And her freed soul may get 

Of God's own work a share. 




IN a tiny bay, 

Where ships lie sure and steady, 
In a quiet way 

Lives a tiny lady ; 
In a tiny house 

Dwells my little fairy, 
Gentle as a mouse, 

Blithe as a canary. 

Travelling I have been 

In distant and in nigh lands, 
And wonders many seen 

In Lowlands and in Highlands ; 
But never since the days 

When fairies were quite common, 
Did human vision gaze 

On such a dear, small woman \ 

On the deep sea's brim, 

In beauty quite excelling, 
White, and tight, and trim, 

Stands my lady's dwelling. 
Stainless is the door, 

With patent polish glowing ; 
A little plot before, 

With pinks and sweet peas growing. 

And when in you go 

To my fairy's dwelling, 
You will find a show 

Of beauty, past all telling ; 
Wealth of pretty wares, 

Curtains, pictures, laces, 
Sofas, tables, chairs, 

All in their proper places. 


Erected, in 1905, by Mrs. Bishop's desire, with funds expressly bequeathed by her 
for the purpose, and from a design by Mr. Whymper. 


But above all fare, 

Of which my song is telling, 
Sits my lady there, 

The mistress of the dwelling. 
Dressed in serge light blue, 

With trimming white and snowy; 
All so nice and new, 

With nothing false and showy. 

Dainty is her head, 

Quite the classic oval, 

Just the thing you read 
In the last new novel, 

But you never saw, 
For Nature still is chary 

To reach the perfect law 
She modelled in my fairy. 

An eye whose glance doth roam 

O'er the azure spaces, 
But still is most at home 

'Mid happy human faces. 
Cheeks of healthy red 

With native freshness glowing, 
By the strong breeze spread 

From purple moorland blowing. 

And a look of warm 

Welcome to the stranger, 
Whom the sudden storm 

Hath cast on her from danger ; 
And a board well spread, 

Bountiful and bonnie, 
With milk and barley bread, 

Bramble jam and honey. 

And for wit and brains, 

Though not taught at college, 
Her dainty head contains 

All sorts of curious knowledge. 
Every nook she knows, 

Every burn she crosses, 
Where the rarest grows 

Of fungus, ferns, and mosses. 


And when flowers are few, 

And suns of heat are chary, 
She has work to do 

Beseems a bright-eyed fairy ; 
A telescope she keeps 

For lofty observation, 
Through which she finely peeps 

At all the starry nation. 

But she's more than wise, 

Better far than clever, 
From her heart arise 

Thoughts of kindness ever ; 
As the sun's bright ray 

Every flower is kissing, 
All that comes her way 

Takes from her a blessing. 

Where a widow weeps, 

She with her is weeping ; 
Where a sorrow sleeps, 

She doth watch it sleeping ; 
Where the sky is bright, 

With one sole taint of sadness, 
Let her come in sight, 

And all is turned to gladness. 

And now, if you should fear 

I'm painting out a story, 
Ask, and you will hear 

The truth at Tobermory. 
In beauty Mull excels 

All ocean-girdled islands, 
And there this lady dwells, 

Sweet angel of the Highlands. 

J. S. B. 


Aberdeen, 342 
Affleck, Dr., 380 
Ainos, life among the, 103-5 
Aix-les-Bains, 177 
Alban's, St., Tattenhall, 17 
Albany, 42 

Alcock, Sir R., his opinion of Un- 
beaten Tracks in Japan, 139 
Aldborough, 7 
Alderson, Mr. and Mrs., 34 
Alexander, Mrs., 230 
Allan, Mr., 182 

Mrs., of Aros, 118, 182, 222, 
268, 355 ; letters from Mrs. 
Bishop, 268, 275, 376 

Allen, Mr. Clement, Consul at 

Chefoo, 284 

Altnacraig, 65, 98 ; visits to, 66, 98 
Amar Singh, Prince, 210 
Ambala, 219 
America steamer, 35 
Among the Tibetans, 215, 216 
Amoy, 297 
Amritsar, 219 ; Alexandra School 

at, 219 

Anchar, Lake, 210, 211 
Anhar, 233 

Anniviers, Val d', 172, 173 
Aomari, 102 
Appin, 56 

Applecross, 71, 73, 112 
Arabian ss., 32 
Ardgour, 56 
Ardnamurchan, 56 
Argyll, Duchess of, 96 

Duke of, 55, 96 

and the Isles, Bishop of, 5 5 
Arklow, 191 

Armenia, 229, 239 

Armenians, their character, 239 

Arnisdale, 73 

Arnold, Sir Edwin, 186 

Aros, 127 ; house, 157, 182 

Asplinium nidus, number of 

fronds, 159 
Assyria ss., 220 
Athenceum, 139 
" Atlantics, the Two," paper on, 


Atlas range, expedition to the, 363 
Australia, voyage to, 78 ; im- 
pressions of, 78 
" Australia Felix," 94 

BA, LOCH, 179 
Badarroch, 183, 264, 355 
Baghdad, 220, 222 
Bagshawe, Mrs. Greaves, 149, 
192 ; letters from Miss Bird, 

149, 345 
Baker, Dr., 376 
Bakhtiari country, expedition to, 


Baleshere, 65 
Balfour, Professor, his lectures 

on " Microscopic Cryptogamic 

Botany," 158 
Ball, Mr., 359 
Ballachulish, 56 
Balmacarra House, 40, 71 
Baltal, 214 

Balzani, Count Ugo, 346 
Banchory, 189 
Baralacha pass, 218 
Baramulla, 204 
Barbour, Mrs., 347 
Barra, 65 




Barry, Mr. Smith, 191 

Barton, i, 3, 146 

Barton-on-the-Heath, 146 

Basrah, 220 

Batala, 219 

Bawan, 205 

Beauly, 88 

Bell, Mrs. Glassford, 346 

Bella Tola, Hotel, 172, 174 

Benbecula, 65 

Bendasca, Val, 155 

Benri, the Aino chief, 104 

Berber sheiks, castles of the, 362, 

365 ; characteristics, 366 
Bernera, South, 65 
Bias, 219 
Bickersteth, Bishop, 303, 326 

Mrs., 326, 378; on Mrs. 
Bishop's visit to Tokyo, 303 ; 
on her advice to missionaries, 


Bijar, 231 
Bird, Catherine, 4 

Edward, 4 ; his birth, 5 ; at 
Cambridge, 5 ; called to the 
bar, 6 ; barrister in Calcutta, 
6 ; death of his wife and son, 6 ; 
takes Holy Orders, 6 ; curate 
at Boroughbridge, 7 ; his 
second marriage, 8 ; work at 
Maidenhead, 8 ; presented to 
the living of Tattenhall, 8 ; 
birth of his children, 8 ; his 
views on the observance of 
Sunday, 17 ; appointed to 
St. Thomas, 17 ; influence of 
his preaching, 18 ; organises 
the Evangelical Alliance, 19 ; 
struggle against Sunday trad- 
ing, 20 ; attack of scarlet fever, 
21 ; resigns his charge, 21 ; at 
Eastbourne, 21 ; at Epping 
Forest, 22 ; presented to the 
living of Wyton, 23 ; love of 
Scotland, 25 ; member of the 
Metropolitan Commission, 26 ; 
his views on temperance, 44 ; 
illness and death, 45 ; publi- 
cation of Some Account of the 

Great Religious Awakening now 
going on in the United States, 46 
Bird, Mrs. Edward, education of 
children, 12; her illness, 63; 
death, 64 ; favourite hymns, 125 

Elizabeth, 3 

George Merttins, 4 

Hannah, 2 

Miss Harriet, her death, 178 

Henrietta, 4 

or Hennie, her birth, 9 ; 

character, 16, 65, 122-5, I 3i 
attack of scarlet fever, 21 ; at 
the Bridge of Allan, 63 ; at 
Tobermory, 63, 64, 70 ; death 
of her mother, 64 ; devotion to 
study, 65, 131 ; artistic power, 
65 ; attends Professor Blackie's 
Greek classes, 74, 92 ; attach- 
ment to Tobermory, 77 ; at 
lona, 93 ; visit from her sistejr, 
97 ; Professor Blackie's lines on 
her, 97 ; ill-health, 100 ; parting 
from her sister, 100 ; life at 
Tobermory, no, 127 ; illness, 
115, 117-9, 134; death, 119, 
135; funeral, 120, 135; "The 
Blessed One," 122 ; affection 
for her parents, 122 ; unselfish- 
ness, 123 ; love of nature, 124 ; 
adoption of a child, 126 ; 
sketches, 128 ; " Tobermory 
Parties," 128 ; friends, 129, 
132; obituary notice, 130; 
religious views, 1 30 ; views on 
companionship, 133 ; vein of 
fun, 133 ; verses, 134 ; hymn, 
134; memorial hospitals, 219, 

- Henry, 2, 4 

Isabella Lucy, her birth, 8 ; 
rides with her father, 9 ; habit 
of accurate observation, 9 ; 
love of flowers, 10 ; incidents 
of her childhood, 10, n ; 
fearlessness, n, 36; early 
education, 12 ; fondness for 
reading, 12 ; holiday at Tap- 
low Hill, 13 ; delicacy, 15, 49 ; 



teaches in St. Thomas's Sunday 
school, 19 ; trains the choir, 
20 ; her pamphlet on Free 
Trade versus Protection, 21 ; 
at Wyton, 23 ; learns to row, 
23 ; friendship with Lady Jane 
Hay, 24 ; operations, 24, 172 ; 
visits to Scotland, 25 ; her 
courage, 27 ; adventure in a 
cab, 27 ; ill-health, 28, 41 ; at 
Portsmouth, 28 ; voyage to 
Halifax, 29 ; at Charlotte 
Town, 29 ; impressions of 
Prince Edward's Island, 30 ; 
Boston, 30 ; Cincinnati, 30 ; 
adventure with a pick-pocket, 
30 ; impressions of Chicago, 
31 ; Toronto, 31 ; nearly 
drowned, 32, 44 ; visit to Mr. 
and Mrs. Forrest, 32 ; at Mont 
real, 33 ; Quebec, 34 ; attack of 
cholera, 34 ; returns to Wyton, 
35, 44 ; literary work, 36, 49, 
59, 92, 94, 98, 113, 168 ; spinal 
attacks, 36, 49, 57, 70, 160, 
183 ; style of writing, 37, 108 ; 
introduction to Mr. John 
Murray, 38 ; publication of The 
Englishwoman in America, 38 ; 
scheme for the benefit of West 
Highland fishermen, 40, 51, 52 ; 
second visit to America, 42 ; 
death of her father, 45 ; her 
notes on Aspects of Religion in 
the United States, 45 ; publica- 
tion of the book, 47 ; visit to 
Ireland, 48, 191 ; residence in 
Edinburgh, 48 ; appearance, 
49 ; characteristics, 49, 50, 74 ; 
method of writing, 49 ; home 
affection, 51 ; provision of 
outfits for the Highlanders, 53 ; 
at lona, 55, 93 ; friendship with 
Mrs. Blackie, 55 ; an island 
tour, 55 ; care of herself, 
57 ; interest in the Scottish 
Churches, 58 ; papers on 
hymns, 59-63 ; death of her 
mother, 64 ; at Farnham Castle, 

64 ; tour in the " Outer He- 
brides," 65 ; at Oban, 66, 68 ; 
visit to Altnacraig, 66, 98 ; Notes 
on Old Edinburgh, 67 ; schemes 
for the relief of the poor in 
Edinburgh, 68, 72 ; attack of 
illness, 68, 74, 90, 199 ; friend- 
ship with Miss Clayton, 69 , 
with Lady Middleton, 71 ; at 
Balmacarra House, 71 ; her 
poem, '' The Darkness is Past," 
74 ; voyage to New York, 77 ; 
to Australia, 78 ; impressions 
of New Zealand, 79 ; Sandwich 
Islands, 79 ; delight in the sea, 
79 ; travels in the Rocky 
Mountains, 80 ; revision of her 
letters, 81 ; visit to London, 81, 
89 et seq. ; at Houghton, 82 ; 
Knoyle Rectory, 82, 88 ; death 
of her guide, Mr. Nugent, 83 ; 
at Hospenthal, 84 ; Interlaken, 
84 ; return to Edinburgh, 84 
et seq. ; publication of Six 
Months in the Sandwich Islands , 
84 ; charm and vividness of her 
style, 86 ; plans for a " Cab- 
men's Rest and Refreshment 
Room," 84 ; revision of the 
proofs of Miss Gordon Cum- 
ming's book, 87, 89 ; at Glen 
Affric Hotel, 88 ; studies with 
the microscope, 88, 92, 96, 158 ; 
conflicts with the Edinburgh 
Town Council, 90 ; at Settring- 
ton House, 92 ; paper on " The 
Two Atlantics," 93 ; friendship 
with Miss Pipe, 94 ; her article 
" Australia Felix," 94 ; interest 
in the bazaar for the erection of 
a " National Livingstone Me- 
morial," 95, 99 ; proposals of 
marriage from Dr. Bishop, 97, 
112; visit to her sister, 97; 
preparations for her journey to 
Japan, 100 ; parting with her 
sister, 100 ; at Yokohama, 101 ; 
tour in the interior, 102 ; life 
among the Ainos, 103-5 ; at 



Tokio, 105, 303, 305, 325 ; 
Hong Kong, 106, 296 ; in the 
Malay Peninsula, 108 ; Cairo, 
1 08 ; attack of fever, 108, 109, 
285 ; publication of A Lady's 
Life in the Rocky Mountains, 
109; curios from Japan, in, 
148; at Applecross, 112; her 
bouquet, 116; illness of her 
sister, 1 1 7-9 ; sorrow at the 
death, 120, 135, 137, 147, 158 ; 
in Switzerland, 136, 155 ; at 
Tobermory, 137 et seq. ; publi- 
cation of Unbeaten Tracks in 
Japan, 138 ; engagement to 
Dr. Bishop, 141 ; sketch of Dr. 
Candlish, 145, 149 ; power of 
bearing cold, 145 ; marriage, 
146 ; on the appearance and 
character of her husband, 146, 
149 ; depression, 147, 154, 196 ; 
her home in Edinburgh, 148 ; 
Hawaiian Literary Order of 
Kapiolani conferred, 150; ill- 
ness of her husband, 151, 157, 
161-75 '> sufferings from car- 
buncles, 152 ; her notes of the 
Malay Peninsula, 154 ; at the 
Italian lakes, 155 ; at Durham, 
158 ; love of botany, 158 ; 
power of noting plants, 159; 
publication of The Golden Cher- 
sonese, 1 60 ; tour in Devon- 
shire, 161 ; gives up her Edin- 
burgh home, 164 ; at Hyeres, 
169 ; her notes on A Pilgrimage 
to Mount Sinai, 170 ; tour 
through the Riviera, 171 ; at 
Vissoie, 173 ; St. Luc, 174, 177 ; 
Cannes, 174 ; death of her 
husband, 175 ; verses, 176 ; at 
Tiree, 179; Westbury, 180 ; 
" A Psychological Fragment," 
181 ; her costume, 182, 300, 
303 ; classes, 183 ; views on 
temperance, 184 ; training at 
St. Mary's Hospital, 186 ; pro- 
posal to build a hospital at 
Nazareth, 187 ; at Banchory, 

189 ; takes a house in town, 
190, 346 ; baptism by im- 
mersion, 195 ; gives up her 
house, 197, 349 ; sale of her 
curios, 198 ; addresses to the 
Y.W.C.A., 200 ; preparations 
for her journey to Tibet and 
Persia, 202 ; at Suez, 202 ; 
Port Said, 203 ; Lahore, 204 ; 
Islamabad, 205 ; " Memorial 
Hospital," 206, 208 ; loss of her 
letter, 208 ; life at Srinagar, 
209 ; plans an ascent to the 
plateaux of Lesser Tibet, 209 ; 
at Gauderbal, 210 ; Sonabarg, 
213; on the Zoji La, 215; 
Among the Tibetans, 216 ; at 
Kylang, 218 ; Simla, 218 ; 
memorial to her sister, 219 ; 
preparations for her journey to 
Persia, 220; hardships, 221-4, 
228 ; at Tihran, 223 ; ride to 
Ispahan, 224 ; at Julfa, 225 ; 
preparations for the expedition 
to Bakhtari, 227 ; at Hamadan, 
230 ; march to Trebizond, 231 ; 
at Urmi, 231 ; her attitude 
towards missions, 236 ; at 
Gahgoran, 237 ; Van, 238 ; 
Bitlis, 240 ; attacked by Kurds, 
241 ; at Erzeroum, 242 ; Tre- 
bizond, 242 ; work on her book 
on Persia, 244 ; addresses at 
missionary meetings, 246, 257, 
270, 289, 333, 341, 342, 347, 
369* 37i 374; meeting with 
Mr. Gladstone, 246 ; address in 
committee-room No. 15, 247; 
attack of sleeplessness, 248 ; 
addresses at the British Asso- 
ciation meetings, 249, 262, 347 ; 
R.S.G.S. fellowship conferred, 

252 ; publication of her Jour- 
neys in Persia and Kurdistan, 

253 ; attack of influenza, 253, 
373 ; on the change in her ap- 
pearance, 256 ; lessons in pho- 
tography, 259 ; complex con- 
stitution, 259-62 ; appetite, 




261 ; paper on " Western Tibet," 

262 ; organises cookery classes 
at Tobermory, 264 ; her series 
of practical '' Talks " to the 
Y.W.C.A., 265 ; elected a fellow 
of the R.G.S., 265 ; presented 
to Queen Victoria, 267 ; at 
Lambeth Palace, 267 ; address 
at Exeter Hall on " Heathen 
Claims and Christian Duty," 
270-4 ; vaccinated, 274 ; de- 
parture for the East, 275 ; at 
Vancouver's Island, 276 ; Che- 
mulpo, 276, 283, 295, 310; 
impressions of Korea, 276, 307 ; 
voyage up the River Han, 
278-80 ; at Chang-an Sa or the 
Temple of Eternal Rest Monas- 
tery, 281 ; at Wonson, 283 ; 
Chefoo, 284, 289 ; Newchang, 
285, 289 ; breaks her arm, 286 ; 
at Mukden, 286 ; Tientsin, 289 ; 
Peking, 290 ; Vladivostock, 291 ; 
return to Seoul, 293, 305, 310, 
330 ; received by the King 
and Queen of Korea, 295 ; at 
Nagasaki, 295 ; address on 
" Korea and Manchuria," 296 ; 
tour of inspection of missionary 
agencies, 296 ; at Hang-chow, 
297 ; Shao Hsing, 298-301 ; 
Shanghai, 301, 310, 323 ; Osa- 
ka, 303 ; Ikao, 305 ; Pyong- 
yang, 308 ; voyage up the 
Yangtze, 310 ; at Ichang, 310 ; 
Wan-Hsien, 312; Paoning-fu, 
314; Kuan-Hsin, 316; struck 
by a stone, 316 ; on missionary 
problems, 319 ; impressions of 
China, 324 ; memorial hospitals, 
325 ; life at Chusenji, 326 ; 
visit to Mr. McLeavy Brown, 

331 regret at leaving Korea, 

332 reputation as a lecturer, 
334 advice on the working 
of missionaries in China, 336- 
40 ; lecture on " Western 
China," 342 ; publication of 
Korea and her Neighbours, 342 ; 

her house in the country, 348 ; 
publication of The Yangtze 
Valley and Beyond, 351 ; grief 
at the death of Sir T. G. 
Stewart, 353 ; on the condition 
of Tobermory, 354 ; gives up 
the cottage, 356 ; accidents, 
356, 371 ; life at Hartford 
Hurst, 359 ; publication of 
Chinese Pictures, 359 ; at 
Tangier, 360, 368 ; attack of 
blood-poisoning, 361 ; at Mara- 
kesh, 361 ; received by the 
Sultan, 362, 365 ; at Zarktan 
Castle, 363 ; impressions of 
Morocco, 363 ; at Fez, 367 ; 
Wazam, 367 ; Fulham Palace, 
370 ; Reigate, 372 ; Oxford, 
373 ; lecture at Winchester 
School, 373 ; addresses at Hol- 
loway College, 374, 379 ; symp- 
toms of a fatal malady, 374, 
379 ; gives up the Hurst, 375 ; 
her will, 378 ; illness, 380-92 ; 
dislike of food, 382, 386 ; death, 
392 ; funeral, 392 
Bird, Rev. James Grant, 392 

Jane Wilberforce, 22 

John, i 

Lucy, 2, 4, 274 

Mary, 4 

Mrs. Merttins, 161, 180; her 
brothers-in-law, 23 

Miss Merttins, 5, 13 

Rebecca, 4 

Robert, 2, 4, 13 ; his death, 16 

Mrs. Robert, 13 ; her death, 22 

Robert Merttins, 4, 16 ; his 
third marriage, 22 ; removes to 
Torquay, 23 

Thomas, i 

Major Wilberforce, 142 ; at the 
marriage of Isabella Bird, 146 

William, i 

Birdsall House, 116, 151, 256 
Birmingham, 16 ; its condition in 

1843, 18 

Bishop, Dr., 92, 95, medical at- 
tendant to Miss Bird. 96 ; pro- 



posals of marriage to her, 97, 
112, 120; his accident, 117; 
on Henrietta Bird's illness and 
death, 117, 119, 134; his letters 
to Mr. Murray, 117, 119, 171 ; 
to Mrs. Milford, 134 ; engage- 
ment to Isabella Bird, 141 ; 
career, 143 ; study of medicine, 
and botany, 143 ; selflessness, 
144, 162 ; marriage, 146 ; ap- 
pearance, 146 ; character, 146 ; 
renews the lease of Tobermory 
Cottage, 148 ; his visit to 
Peterborough, 1 50 ; attack of 
blood-poisoning, 151, 157; ad- 
vocacy of medical missions, 153, 
187 ; illness, 161-75 ; removal 
to London, 163, 164 ; at St. 
Leonards, 163 ; Brighton, 164 ; 
Ilkley, 1 66 ; Tobermory, 166 ; 
his sketches, 168 ; at Hyeres, 
169 ; removal to Geneva, 171 ; 
at Glion, 172 ; ascent to Vis- 
soie, 173 ; at St. Luc, 174 ; 
Cannes, 174 ; operation of 
transfusion of blood performed, 
174 ; death, 175 ; funeral, 
175 ; memorial hospital at 
Islamabad, 206, 208 ; rebuilt, 

Bishop, Mrs. See Bird, Isabella 

Bitlis, 240 ; American mission at, 

Blackie, Mrs., 49, 244, 255 ; her 
friendship with Isabella Bird, 
55, 56 ; letters from her, 58, 64, 
70. 79, 93. 97. ioo, 103, 107, 
109, 112, 154, 155, 177, 187, 
194, 258, 264, 353 ; her sym- 
pathy on the death of Mrs. Bird, 
64 ; her Highland home, 65 ; 
attack of fever, 107 ; opinion of 
Dr. Bishop, 107 ; golden wed- 
ding day, 258 

Professor, 49, 55, 244, 255; 
his Homer, 58 ; classes for 
Greek, 74, 92 ; lines on Henri- 
etta Bird, 97 ; poem dedicated 
to her, 135 ; resigns his pro- 

fessorship, 153 ; his Wisdom of 
Goethe, 156 ; letters from Mrs. 
Bishop, 156, 179, 258; golden 
wedding day, 258 ; his death, 


Blackwood's Magazine, 12 
Blair, Mr., 79 

164. See Williamson 
Blyth, Miss Phcebe, 53 
Boer War, 351 
Boroughbridge, 7 
Boston, 30, 35, 42 
Bournemouth, 190, 257, 259 
Bowman, Mrs., 164, 332 
Braernar, 97 

Brampton Park, 36 

Bregaglia, Val, 155 

Bridge of Allan, 63 

Bridgnorth, 262 

Brighton, 164 

Bristol, 1 80 

British Association meetings at 

Cardiff, 249 ; Clifton, 347 ; 

Edinburgh, 262 
Broadford, 40, 73 
Broen, Miss de, 378 
Broughton Bay, 283 
Brown, Canon Cowley, 384, 393 

Rev. David, 4 

Mrs. George, 186 ; her reminis- 
cences of Isabella Bird, 35, 36 

Dr. John, 48, 58 

Mr. McLeavy, 277 ; Financial 
Adviser of Korea, 329, 331 

Mr., his illness and death* 370 

Mrs., 82, 132, 244, 262, 334, 
347, 359. 370, 3o> 391 ; her 
recollections of Henrietta Bird, 
123 ; letters from Mrs. Bishop, 
361, 363. 365 

Browne, Mr., 237 

Bruce, Dr., 220 ; at Julfa, 224 

Miss, 228 
Bryce, Mr., 247 

Bullock, Mr. Lowndes, 285, 289, 
301, 310, 346 

Mrs. Lowndes, 285, 289, 301, 
310, 346 ; letters from Mrs. 
Bishop, 322, 324, 372 



Bunyon, Miss, on Mrs. Bishop's 
advice to missionaries, 340 

Burden, Bishop and Mrs., 106, 
296; in Edinburgh, 153; at 
Tobermory, 157 

Burge, Dr., 373 

Burlington Bay, 31 

Burt, Emma, 6 

Burujird, 229 

Bushire, 220 

Butler, Dr., 7 

Dr. Fanny, 206 
Butts, the, 161 
Buxton, 264 

MENT ROOM," plan of a, 87 ; 
opened, 90 

Cadenabbia, 155 

Caine, Mr., 247 

Cairo, 108 

Calgary, 179 

Cambridge, photographic conven- 
tion at, 375 

Campbell, Lady Emma, 70 

Lady Victoria, district referee 
for the Y.W.C.A., 185 ; at 
Tobermory, 189 ; addresses a 
meeting, 189 

Canada, settlement in, 54, 62 
Canada mail steamer, 29 
Candlish, Dr., sketch and life of, 

145, 149 

Cannes, 171, 174, 175, 177 
Canterbury, 161 

settlement, 79 
Canton, 160 

Cardiff, British Association meet- 
ing at, 249 

Carless, Mr., 226 

Carolina, South, 42 

Cassels, Bishop, his mission at 
Paoning-fu, 315 ; on Mrs. Bis- 
hop's visit, 3 i 5 

Castle Mail, 56 

Cathcart, Lady Gordon, 52 

Catholic Presbyterian Magazine, 
The, 145 

Chalmers, Miss, 386 

Chamini, 228 

Chang-an Sa, the Temple of 

Eternal Rest Monastery, 281 ; 

character of the monks, 282 
Charles, Mrs. Rundle, 81 
Charlotte Town, 29 
Charon, the, 56 
Chefoo, 284, 289, 290 
Chemulpo, 276, 293, 295, 310 ; 

Japanese troops land at, 283 
Chengtu, 323 ; plain of, 317, 319 
Chester, 9 

Bishop of, 27 

Chicago, 101 ; impressions of, 31 

Chighakor, 228 

China Missionary Societies, 297 ; 
impressions of, 324 ; Inland 
Mission, 313 ; advice on the 
working of, 336-40 

" China, Western," lecture on, 342 

Chine, La, 33 

Chinese and Manchus, hatred 
between, 289 ; colporteurs, 
character of, 287 ; navy, cap- 
ture of, 305 

Chinese Pictures, publication, 359 

Cholera, epidemic of, in Quebec, 
34 ; at Carlsbad, 263 

Cholmondeley, Rev. Lionel, his 
reminiscences of Mrs. Bishop's 
visit at Chusenji, 327-9 

Chow-fu, memorial hospital at, 


Christian Monthly, The, 129 
Christie, Dr., 287 
Chunking, 323 
Chusenji, lake of, 326 
Cincinnati, 30 
City of Tokio ss., 101 
Claremorris, 192 
Clark, Dr. Martyn, his work at the 

Medical Mission Hospital at 

Amritsar, 219 

Sir Andrew, 163 

Clarke, Messrs., strike of machin- 
ists, 341 

Clayton, Miss, 66, 68, 76 ; letters 
from Miss Bird, 80, 206, 210, 
225-7 ; friendship with her, 



69 ; in Switzerland, 136 ; at 

Cadenabbia, 155 ; Hyeres, 170 ; 

Cannes, 175 ; Banchory, 189 ; 

Bournemouth, 190 ; her illness, 

198, 245 ; death, 278 
Cliff College, 194 
Clifton, 161 ; British Association 

meeting at, 347 

Mrs., 52 

Coalbrookdale, meeting at, 262 
Colombo, 332 

Colporteurs, Chinese, character of, 

Columba Inn, St., 93 

Cong, 192 

Connemara, 192 

Constable, Mr., 58 

Constantinople, 243 

Contemporary Review, review in, 
1 39 ; articles in, 246 

Cook, Canon, 186 

Corpach, 56 

Cronshaw, Mr., 370, 378 

Croom, Sir Halliday, 374, 387 

Cullen, Rev. George D., 48 ; his 
correspondence with Miss Bird, 
76 ; at Henrietta Bird's fu- 
neral, 1 20 

Miss, 48, 76, 95, 120, 252, 
256, 275, 386 ; letters from 
Mrs. Bishop, 280, 289, 290, 293, 
296, 301, 303, 313, 319, 323, 326, 
347, 358, 360 ; her death, 374 

Cumming, Miss Gordon, 155 ; her 
friendship with Miss Bird, 71 ; 
visit at Applecross, 73 ; recol- 
lections of her, 73 ; revision of 
her book, 87, 89 ; in the Fijian 
Isles, 89 ; at Birdsall House, 
116; at Tokio, 105 

Curzon, Lord, 220 ; his book on 
Persia, 252 ; review of Journeys 
in Persia, 262 

Daily Chronicle, letters in the, 372 

Dal Lake, 207 

Dar al Baida, 367 

" Darkness is Past, The," 74 

Darwin, Mr., 98 

Davies, Dr., 259, 262 

Dawson, Mr., 384 

Dee, River, 369 

Deeside, 342 

Dening, Mr. and Mrs., 103 

Detroit, 31, 42 

Devey, Mr., British Vice-Consul 

at Van, 240 

Devonshire, tour in, 161 
Diamond mountains, 280 
Dillon, Mr., 190 
Dixon, Dr., 163 
Mr., 264 
Donnuil Dhu, 30 
Douglas, Mr., 228 
Douro ss., 243 
Dras valley, 216 
Dreghorn Castle, 92, 150 
Drummond, Mr., 130 
Du Chaillu, 191 
Dublin, 191 
Dulai, 204 
Dun-Ee, 93, 124 
Duncan, Dr. Matthew, 143 
Dunedin, 79 
Dunlop, Mr. Nathaniel, 77, 144, 

201 ; his impressions of Miss 

Bird, 52 ; on the emigration of 

crofters, 52, 53 
Dunmore, Lord, his paper on 

" Journeyings in the Pamirs and 

Central Asia," 268 
Durand, Colonel, 209 
Durham, 157 

EASTBOURNE, 21, 267 
Eden, Garden of, site of the, 220 
Edinburgh, visit to, 48 ; con- 
dition of the Old Town, 66 ; 
Notes on, 67 ; schemes for the 
relief of the poor, 72 ; plan of a 
Cabmen's Rest and Refresh- 
ment Room, 87 ; opened, 90 ; 
erection of a " Livingstone 
Memorial," 95 ; committee 
formed, 96 ; British , Associa- 
tion meeting at, 262 ; Mission- 



ary Loan Exhibition opened, 


Edinburgh Medical Journal, ar- 
ticle on the complex constitu- 
tion of Mrs. Bishop, 260 

Edmonstone and Douglas, Messrs., 

Edward VII., King, his illness, 
375 ; coronation, 375 

Egerton, Sir Malpas de Grey 
Tatton, 12 

Egypt, 109 

Elgin, Lord, 34 

Ely, Miss, 240 

" Emblematists, the," 63 

Emerson, 43 

Empress of Japan, 296 

Englishwoman in America, publi- 
cation, 38 ; reviews on, 39 

Epping Forest, 22 

Erray Farm, 199 

Erzeroum, 242 

Euphrates, 220, 241 

Evans, Elizabeth, 4 

Mrs. Harrington, 82 

Rev. J. Harrington, 4, 5 
Exeter Hall, meeting of the 

" Gleaners' Union " at, 270 ; 
address on " Heathen Claims 
and Christian Duty," 271-4 ; 
lecture at, 333 

FAIRBAIRN, Principal, 373 

Fais Khan, his character, 210, 

212 ; costume, 212 
Faisarullah Khan, General, 226 
Falkirk, 153 
Family Treasury, 49 
Fao, 220 

Farmer, Mr. Howard, 259 
Farnham Castle, 64 
Fez, 367 
Foochow, 297 
Ford Hall, 192, 251, 371 
Fordyce, Dr., 380, 387 
Forester, Lord, 257 
Forrest, Mr., 32 
Mrs., 32 

Fox, Charles James, 23 

Frank, Dr., 175 

Lady Agnes, 175 

Franzensbad, 89 

Fraser, Mr., 102 

Free Trade versus Protection, 

pamphlet on, 21 
Froude, J. Anthony, 23 
Fulham Palace, 370 
Fuller, Mr. and Mrs., 296 


Galashiels, 155 

Gale, Mr. and Mrs., 283 

Galway, Lord and Lady, 112 

Ganderbal, 210 

Gawar, plain of, 235 

Geikie, Sir Archibald, President of 
the British Association meeting, 

Geneva, 171, 178 

Genkai Maru, 310 

Geographical Club, lecture at, 333 

Georgia, 42 

Ghazit, 240 

Ghazloo Pass, blizzard on, 241 

Gibson, Dr. Monro, 193 

Gladstone, W. E., his meeting 
with Mrs. Bishop, 246 J ex- 
position of the Nestorian heresy, 

Glasgow, 20 1 

" Gleaners' Union," meeting at 
Exeter Hall, 270 

Glen Affric Hotel, 88 

Glenelg, 73 

Glion, 172, 178 

Glowa, Castle of, 360 

Golden Chersonese, 106, 107, 155 ; 
publication, 160 

Gomery, Dr. Minnie, 208 

Good Words, 49 

Gould, Mr. Baring, 379 

Gourock, 63 

Grant, Sir Alexander, 116 

Green, Mrs. J. R., 346, 359, 378 ; 
letter from Mrs. Bishop, 380 

Greenfield, Professor, 161 

Greenock, 63 



Grenfell, Henrietta, 22 

Mr. Pascoe, 22 

Grimasay, 65 

Guildford, 199 

Guinness, Geraldine, 387 

Gurman, or the Garden of Eden, 


Guthrie, Dr., 48 
" Gyalpo," the Arab horse, 212 ; 

accident to, 214 


Halifax, voyage to, 29 

Hamadan, 229, 230 

Hamilton, 31 

Hampson, Mr., 242 

Hampstead, 81 

Han River, 277 ; voyage up the, 


Hang-chow, 297 ; hospital at, 297 
Hankow, 310 
Hanna, Dr., 48, 58, 120 ; his 

funeral sermon on Henrietta 

Bird, 135 
Hari, Jean, 175 
Harris, 25 

Mr., 367 

Hart, Sir Robert, 290 
Hartford Church, 150 

Hurst, 348 
Hassan, 228 

Khan, 217 

Hay, Lady Jane, 24, 346 

Heanish, 357 

" Heathen Claims and Christian 

Duty," address on, 271-4 
" Hebrides, the Outer," papers 

on the tour in, 65 
Hesso Khan, 233 
Hexham, 157 
Heyde, Mr. and Mrs., 218 
Highlanders, their character, 141 
Highlands, West, scheme for the 

benefit of the fishermen, 40 ; 

manufacture of Harris cloth, 

51; emigration scheme, 52; 

supply of outfits, 53 
Higo Maru, 284, 295 

Hill, Bishop, at the meeting in 
Exeter Hall, 270 

Mrs. D. O., her statue of 
Livingstone, 95 

Rev. David, 302 

Hillier, Sir Walter, 293, 305, 346, 
378 ; revises proofs of Mrs. 
Bishop's book on Korea, 341 ; 
letters from her, 342, 357, 373 

Himalaya troopship, 29 

Hoare, Mr., 301 

Holloway College, Egham, mis- 
sionary addresses at, 374, 379 

Hong Kong, 106, 160 ; gathering 
of missionaries at, 296 ; lectures 
at, 296 

Honolulu, 79 

Horsburgh, Dr., 316 

Horton, Dr., 274 

Hospenthal, 84 

Houghton, 23, 35, 82, 244, 249, 
257, 262, 266, 369, 380 

Hourn, Loch, 71, 73 

House of Commons, Committee 
room No. 15, address on the 
Syrians and Armenians, 247 

Hsin-lan, cataract of, 312 

Hudson's Bay Territory, 42 

Huggins, Sir William, 249 

Hull, Miss, 2ii 

Hunter, Sir William and Lady, 

Huntingdon, 23, 244 

Huron, Lake, 42, 44 

Hutcheson, Mr., 40, 51 

Hyeres, 169 

Hymns, papers on, 59-63 


Ichang, 310 

Ikao, 305 

Ilberge Khan, 229 

Ilkley, 1 66 

Illinois, prairies of, 42 

Ingram, Bishop Winnington, 348, 


Interlaken, 84 
Invercargill, 79 



Inverness-shire, 25 

lona, 40, 54 

Ireland, visits to, 48, 191 ; plan 
of campaign, 188, 198 

Islam, creed of, 221 

Islamabad, 205 ; proposed hospi- 
tal at, 206 ; built, 263 

Ispahan, 224 

Ives, St., 23 


James's Gazette, St., 139; letters 
in, 278, 294 

Japan, preparations for the jour- 
ney to, 100 ; curios from, in, 
148 ; progress, 140, 276 ; in- 
fluence on Korea, 277 ; supre- 
macy in the Far East, 305 

Japan, Unbeaten Tracks in, publi- 
cation, 138 

Japanese capture the palace at 
Seoul, 288 

Jhelum river, 204, 206 ; accident 
on the, 207 

Johannes, 240 

Johnstone, Dr., 166 

Joy, Mrs., 324 

Julfa, 220 ; Church Mission House 
at, 224 

Kaisow ss., 303 

Kalakaua, King of Hawaii-nei, 

ill Edinburgh, 149 ; confers the 

Literary Order of Kapiolani on 

Mrs. Bishop, 150 
Kanzo, Uchimura, Why I became 

a Christian, 328 
Kapurtala, Rajah of, 210 
Karachi, 204, 220 
Kargil, 216 
Karun River, 220 
" Karun region, the Upper and 

the Bakhtiari Lurs," lectures 

on, 249, 252 

Kashmir, 204 ; climate, 211 
Kavir, or Great Salt Desert, 223 
Keith, Dr., 143 
Keltic, Dr. Scott, 352 

Kenilworth, i 

Ker, Miss Alexina, her reminis- 
cences, 378 

Miss Bessie, on the ascent to 
Vissoie, 173 

the Misses, 136, 175, 358, 369, 
375. 38o, 389, 391 

Kerbela, 201 
Kerrera, sound of, 65 
Keswick, Mrs., 387 
Kew Gardens, 82 
Khanjarak, 239 
Kharzong glacier, 217 
Khonnikin, 221 
" Kim," 278 
King, Mr., 289 
Kingsley, Charles, 23 

Miss, 346, 349 
Kingussie, 264 
Kinnaird, Miss, 349 
Gertrude, 334 

the Misses, 375, 377 
Kioto, 292 

Kipling, Mr., Curator of the 
Museum at Lahore, 220 

Kirmanshah, 221 

Knapp, Mr. and Mrs., 240 

Knaresborough, 7, 266, 375, 380 

Knowles, Mr., 204 

Knoyle Rectory, 82, 88 

Kobe, 276 

Kochanes, 237 

Kooltapa, 231 

Korea, impressions of, 276 ; in- 
fluence of Japan, 277 ; worship 
of demons, 282 ; character of 
the settlements in Russia, 292 ; 
independence declared, 294, 
305 ; impressions of the land- 
scape, 307 ; internal adminis- 
tration, 331 

King of, declares the inde- 
pendence of Korea, 294 ; re- 
ceives Mrs. Bishop, 295 ; made 
a prisoner, 306 ; takes refuge 
in the Russian Embassy, 330 

Queen of, her characteristics, 
and appearance, 295 ; mur- 
dered, 306 



" Korea and Manchuria," address 
on, 296 

Korea and her Neighbours, pub- 
lication, 342 

Kuan-Hsien, 317 

Kulla Khan, 229 

Kum, 222, 224 

" Kurd, The Shadow of the," 246 

Kurdistan, 229 

Kurds, their character, 232 ; at- 
tacks on Nestorians, 233 ; de- 
predations, 241 

Kusamoto, Mr., 106 

Kwala Kangsa, 159 

Kylang, 218 

Kyleakin, 56, 113 

Kymg-Pok Palace, 295 

LABOREE, MR., 232 

Lady Eisa, the steam-yacht, 112, 


Lahore, 204, 219 
Lahul, 218 

Lambeth Palace, visit to, 267 
Lang, Dr. Marshall, 374 
Larut, journey from, 159 
Laurence, Mr., 209, 212 

Mrs., 209, 213 
Lausanne, 174, 178 
Lawrence, St., church of, 146 ; 

river, 33 
Lawson, Andrew, 7 

Dora, 7 

Rev. John, 24, 120 

Miss Margaret, 389, 391 

Marmaduke, 7 

Rev. Marmaduke, 7 

Mrs., 7 

Professor, 70 
Layard, Sir Henry, 250 
Lazarief, Port, 283 
Leahy \ Constable, 191 
Leh, 210, 216, 217 

Leisure Hour, The, papers in, 28, 
49, 65, 67, 93, 94, 109, 131, 160, 
266, 372 

Leonard's, St., 161, 163 

" Lesser Tibet," lecture on, 296 

Levack, Mr., 184 

Li Ping, 317 ; his system of irriga 

tion works, 317 ; shrine, 318 
Liau, river, 285 
Liau-yang, 289 
Lillingston, Miss, 175 
Lismore, 56, 66 
Lister, Professor, 143, 163, 172, 


Liverpool, 275 
" Livingstone Memorial," bazaar 

for the erection of a college, 95, 

99 ; cost, 95 
Loftus, Mr., 109 
London, Bishop of, 370, 378 
Longfellow, H. W., visit to, 42 
Lorimer, Mr., 93 
Mrs., 384 
Lothian, Lord, 342 
Louchon, 323 
Lough, 191 
Louise, Princess, 96 
Low, Mr., his monkeys, 185 
Lowe, Dr., 96 
Lowell, Russell, 167 ; his motto, 


Lowther, Mr., 326 
Luc, St., 174, 177 
Luristan, mountains of, 224 
Lyall, Sir Alfred and Lady, 243, 



Macclesfield, 371 

MacCallum, Miss, first secretary 
of the Y.W.C. A., at Tobermory, 

Macdiarmid, Mrs., 179 ; letters 
from Miss Bird, 120, 147, 189, 
196, 245, 356, 382 ; letters from 
Miss Henrietta Bird, no, 115, 
116, 132 

Macdonald, Mr. Duncan, 174 

Dr. John, at Port Said, 203 

Dr., 48 

Mrs., 116, 153, 351, 356; 
letters from Mrs. Bishop, 169, 
170, 178, 195, 196, 202, 244, 
259, 265, 359, 386 



Macdonald, Miss, 254, 351, 356; 
letters from Mrs. Bishop, 245, 

257, 383 
Macfarlane, Mr., 77 

Mrs., 77 ; her sudden death, 

Macfie, Mr. and Mrs., receive the 

King of Hawaii-nei, 150 
Macgregor, Dr., 384 
Mackenzie, Mr., 297 

the Misses, 92, 127, 381 
Mackinnon, Hector, 356 

Mary, 199 

Nurse, 179 
MacLachlan, Mr., 183 

Mrs., 183, 264 

Maclean, Sir Harry de Vere, 362 

K. f 359 

Maconachie, Mr., 213 ; on the 
Zoji La, 2 1 5 

Maidenhead, 8 

Main, Dr., his hospital at Hang- 
chow, 297 ; letter from Mrs. 
Bishop, 382 

Mrs., on Mrs. Bishop's visit to 
Hangchow, 297 

Malacca, 107 

Malay Peninsula, notes on the, 154 

" Malay Peninsula, Sketches in," 
1 60 

Malay States, 107 

Malta, 332 

Manchus and Chinese, hatred 
between, 289 

Mando, 212, 217 

Man-tze tribes, 320 

"Man-tze of the Tsu-ku-Shan 
mountains," papers on the, 347 

Mapu, 295 

Mar Shimun, the Nestorian Patri- 
arch, 237 

Marakesh, 361, 365 

Marbishu, 233 

Martyn, Henry, 4 

Mary's Hospital, St., 181 ; train- 
ing at, 1 86 

Massachusetts, Western, 42 

Masujima, Mr., 348 

Matayan, 216 

Mathieson, Mr. and Mrs., 266 
Mathieson, Mr. James, 194 
Maxwell, Dr., 179, 199 
Mayo, 192 
Mazagan, 361 
McCarthy, Mr. Justin, 190 
McDougall, Mrs., her illness, 179 
McFie, Mr., 29 

McGee, Dr., Bishop of Peter- 
borough, 8 1 

Mcllvaine, Bishop, 30 A j 

Mclvor, Mr., 204, 220 

Mrs., 220 
McKendrick, Dr., 92 
McLachlan, Dr., 119 
McNeill, Lady Emma, 95 

Sir John, 70, 95 
Meath, Lady, 379 

Medical missions, addresses on, 
257, 262. See Missions 

Mejidieh ss., 220 

Mentone, 177 

Mersey, the, 29 

Merttins, Sir George, 2 

Middleton, Lady, her friendship 
with Miss Bird, 71 ; on her 
manner of speech and appear- 
ance. 74 ; visit from Miss Bird, 
92, 256 ; letters from her, 105, 
138, 142, 146, 147, 151, 157, 161, 
162, 167, 182, 196, 217, 254, 

256, 345, 349, 385, 386; ac- 
cession to the title, 112; con- 
sideration for others, 113; 
illness of her husband, 137 

Milford, Mr. John, 37 

Mrs., 82 
Miller, Mr., 278 
Min, the, 317, 320 
Minnehaha, Falls of, 42 
Minnesota Territory, 42 
Mirza Yusuf, 228, 231 
Missions, medical, addresses on, 

257, 262 ; China, advice on the 
working, 336-40 ; at Amritsar, 
219; Julfa, 224; Urmi, 232; 
Van, 238 ; Bitlis, 240 ; Mukden, 
287 ; Hangchow, 297 ; Pijong- 
yang, 309; Paoning-fu, 315 



Mississippi river, 42 ; cruise on 

the, 30 
Mitchell, Dr. Murray, 143 ; at 

Mentone, 177 
Mitch elstown, 191 
Moffat, 157 

Dr. Robert, 96 

Mr., 309 
Mogador, 361, 365 
Mohammerah, 220 

Moir, Dr., 50, 63, 77 ; retires from 

practice, 96 
Mongolia ss., 275 
Monkey, drunkenness of a, 185 
Montgomery, Miss, 230 
Monthly Review, The, articles on 

Morocco, 360, 369 
Montreal, 33, 35 
Mooyaart, Mrs., letter from Mrs. 

Bishop, 377 
Morocco, impressions of, 363 ; 

character of the Mohammedan 

religion, 364 ; government, 364 ; 

reforms, 364 

Sultan of, receives Mrs. Bishop, 
362, 365 

Morvern, Sound of, 127 
Moule, Mr. and Mrs., 296 
Mountain, Dr., Bishop of Quebec, 


Muir, Sir William, 95, 262 
Muirhead, Mr. and Mrs., 296 
Mukden, 286 ; medical mission 

at, 287 

Mulai-el-Arbi, 368 
Mull, 25, 40, 244, 265 ; isolation 

of, 141 

A ballad of, 394-6 
Miiller, Professor Max, 23 
Murad-chai tributary, 241 
Murray, Mr. John, 186, 243 ; 

introduction to Miss Bird, 37 ; 
publishes The Englishwoman in 
America, 38 ; letters from Miss 
Bird, 41, 80, 84, 90, 135, 139, 
141, 165, 170, 172, 180, 191, 
192, 199, 202, 251 ; his de- 
cision to postpone publishing 
Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, 115; 

publishes The Golden Cher- 
sonese, 1 60 ; his wish for a 
series of articles on Ireland, 
1 88 ; interest in Mrs. Bishop's 
work on Persia, 251 ; his death, 

Murray, Mr. John, 263 ; letters 
from Mrs. Bishop, 251, 263, 269, 
276, 277, 293, 301, 305, 320, 

325, 329, 331, 333. 341 

Mrs., 38, 186, 191, 243 

Miss, her views on the slavery 
question, 39 

Murray's Magazine, 181, 191 
Mya Panch, Commander-in-Chief , 

NAGASAKI, 292, 295 
Nasim Bagh, 207, 214 
Nature, reviews in, 85, 139 
Nazareth, proposal to build a 

hospital at, 187 
Nelson, Mr. Thomas, 77 

Miss, 357 

Nestorian heresy, exposition of, 

246 ; their character, 233 
Nettleship, Rev. Arthur, 146 
Neve, Dr. Arthur, 204 ; on the 
visit to Islamabad, 205 

Dr. Ernest, 207, 214; on the 
Zoji La, 215 

New Era steamer, 33 

New York, 35, 42, 77, roi 

New Zealand, impressions of, 79 

Newchang, 285, 289 

Newnham, Miss, 208 

Niagara, 33, 42 

Nichol, Mrs., 92 

Nicholson, Dr., 163 

Nikk6, 102 

Ningpo, 300, 301 

Norman, Rev. H. V., 290 ; mur- 
dered, 290 note 

North, Miss, 155 

North China Daily News, 324 

Nova Scotia, 29 

Nugent, Mr., acts as guide to Miss 
Bird, 83 ; her influence over 
him, 83 ; death, 84 



OBAN, 51, 55, 81, 114, 168 

Oliphant, Lawrence, 34 

Olney, 23 

Ontario, Lake, 32 

O'Rourke, Murphy, 240 

Osaka, 292, 303 

Otago settlement, 79 

" Other Missions," address on, 289 

Otter, Admiral, 68 

Captain, 5 1 

Mrs., 52, 68 
Ottershaw, 379 

Ouse, the, 23, 82, 244, 348 
Oxford, visit to, 373 


Palmer, Mrs., 349, 350, 357, 370, 

374, 378 ; letter from Mrs. 

Bishop, 371 
Paoning-fu, journey to, 313-5 ; 

mission at, 315; Henrietta Bird 

Hospital, opened at, 315, 325 
Paris, 155, 178, 243 
Parkes, Lady, 100, 102, 105 ; her 

opinion of Dr. Bishop, 112; 

death, 114 

Sir Harry, 100, 102, 105 ; 
death of his wife, 114 ; at the 
funeral of Henrietta Bird, 120 

Miss, 112 

Parlett, Mr. Harold, 327 
Paton, Lady, 95 

Sir Noel, 58, 95 
Patriot, The, 46 
Peiho River, 289 
Peking, 290 
Pentlands, the, 92 
Perry, Bishop, 95, 186 

Persia and Kurdistan, Journeys 

in, 245 ; publication, 253 ; 

reviews on, 262 
" Persian Manners and Customs," 

lecture on, 253 
Peterborough, 150 
Peterculter, 369 
Philadelphia, 42 
Phillimore, Miss Lucy, on Mrs. 

Bishop's advice to missionaries, 


Photographic convention, at Cam- 
bridge, 375 

Photography, lessons in, 259 

Pick-pocket, adventure with a, 

Picton, 29 

Pilgrimage to Mount Sinai, A, 131, 

Pioneer, the, 56, 166 

Pipe, Miss, her characteristics, 
94 ; friendship with Miss Bird, 


Pohru river, 209 

Pontarlier, 178 

Poole, Miss, 163, 178 

Port Chalmers, 79 

Port Said, 203 

Portsmouth, 28 

Prince Edward's Island, 28 ; im- 
pressions of, 30 

Pruen, Mr. and Mrs., 296 

Psychological Fragment, 181 

Pul-i-Wargun, 228 

Purves, Mrs., 132 

Pyong-Yang, 289 

Pyong-yang, mission at, 309 ; 
victory at, 306, 308 

Quarterly Review, The, 1 39 
Quebec, epidemic of cholera, 34 

Rainbow ss., 107 
Rawal Pindi, 204 
Rawhead hill, 1 1 
Rawlinson, Sir Henry, 250 
Redslob, Rev. W., 216 
Reigate, 372 
Reynolds, Dr., 238, 240 
Richmond, African Baptist 

Church service in, 43 
Rio, 228 
Ritchie, Dr., 168, 263, 374, 379, 


Riviera, tour through the, 171 
Roberts, Dr., 361, 368 

Sir Frederick and Lady, at 
Lahore, 204 

Miss, 209 


Robertson, Mr. James, 77, 80, 101 

Mrs., 80 

Robinson, Sir William, 107 

Roch, St., 34 

Rock island, 30 

Rocky mountains, travels in, 80 

Rocky Mountains, A Lady's Life 
in the, publication, 109 ; second 
and third editions, no, 114; 
translated into French, 199 

Rose, H.M.S., 65 

Ross, Colonel, 220 

Dr. and Mrs., 286 

Hon. John, 34 

Mr. George, 131 
Ross-shire, 25, 40 

Royal Geographical Society, elec- 
tion of Mrs. Bishop as a 
Fellow, 265 ; opposition to 
electing lady fellows, 265 note, 

Scottish Geographical Society, 
Edinburgh, confers a fellowship 
on Mrs. Bishop, 252 

Royston, Bishop and Mrs., 348 
Russell, Mr. T. W., 198 

SAFFI, 366 

Saigon, 160 

Salisbury, Lord, accepts the dedi- 
cation of The Yangtze Valley 
and Beyond, 350 ; his appre- 
ciation of the book, 351 

Salt Desert, the Great, 223 

Lake City, 101 

Sampson, Low & Co., Messrs., 47 

San Francisco, 101 

Sanders, Miss, her recollections of 
St. Thomas's, 19 ; her visit 
to Epping Forest, 22 

Sandwich Islands, 79 ; impres- 
sions of, 80 

Sandwich Islands, Six Months in 
the, publication, 84 ; character 
of the book, 85 ; style, 86 

Satow, Sir Ernest, 102, 305, 326 ; 
British Minister at Peking, 358 

Sawyer, Colonel, 346 

Major, his mission to Persia, 

218 ; at Tihran, 223 ; charac- 
teristics, 227 ; escorts Mrs. 
Bishop, 224, 227 ; at Burujird, 
229 ; in London, 248 

Scarinish Bay, 179 

Scotland, visits to, 25, 40, 45, 48 

Scotsman, 139 

Scottish Geographical Magazine, 


Seaton Carew, 24 ; vicarage, 1 5 1 
Seeley, Messrs., 46 
Sells, Mr., 213 
Seoul, 276, 277, 293, 305, 330 ; 

palace at, captured by Japanese, 

288 ; memorial hospital at, 325 
Settrington House, 92 
Shackleton, Dr. William, in charge 

of the Henrietta Bird Hospital 

at Paoning-fu, 315 
Shamrock, H.M.S., 65 
Shanghai, 101, 297, 301, 310, 323 
Shao Hsing, 298 
Sharban, the charvadar, 231 
Shaw, Dr., 161, 163 
Shayok rapids, 217 
Shedd, Dr., Principal of Urmi 

College, 232 

Sheffield, 143 ; lectures at, 369 
Shergol, 216 
Shinondi, the Aino, 104 
Shobunotaki, 326 
Shore, Miss Constance, 386 
Sialkot, 204, 219 
Sierre, 177 

Sieveking, Sir E., 186 
Si-hing, 298 
Simla, 218 
Sinai, Mount, 108 
Sind river, 211 ; valley, 211 
Sinfu, 323 
Singapore, 107, 160 
Skene, Mr., 55 
Skye, 25, 40, 56 
Smith, Alexander, 58 

Mr. Cecil, 107 

Mr. George, 291 

General Sir Robert Murdoch, 
252 ; his review of Journeys in 
Persia and Kurdistan, 255 


Smith, Mrs., 80 

Soglio, 155 

Sona Pass, 224 

Sonamarg, 211, 213 

Southampton, 257 

Sparrow, Lady Olivia, 23, 36 

Spencer Wood, 34 

Spurgeon, Mr., baptizes Mrs. 

Bishop, 195 
Srinagar, 204 
Stanley, Dean, 114 
Stephen, Sir George, 6 

Major Grant, 89 
Stevenson, Miss Flora, 387 
Stewart, Lady Grainger, letters 

from Mrs. Bishop, 248, 352 

Sir Thomas Grainger, 50, 77, 
143, 161, 168, 243, 263 ; his 
obituary notice of Henrietta 
Bird, 129 ; letter from Mrs. 
Bishop, 344; illness, 351; 
death, 352 

Mrs., 296 

Miss Grainger, her anecdote of 
Miss Bird, 12 

Nancy, 29 

Stock, Mr. Eugene, 205, 270, 336 
Stodart, Miss, 384 
Stoddart, Miss Frances, 49 
Stowe, Mrs. Beecher, Uncle Tom's 

Cabin, 30 
Stranraer, 265 
Strathglass, 88 
Strongarbh Cottage, 77 
Suez Canal, 202 
Summers, Mr., 363, 387 
Sumner, Charles Richard, 2 

John Bird, 2 

Rev. Robert, 2 

Bishop, 268 
Sunday at Home, 49 

Magazine, The, 59, 60, 63 
Superior, Lake, 42 
Surmel valley, 242 
Sutton, Dr., 220 

Mrs., 227 
Swabey, Captain, 28, 29 
Swatow, 290 
Swatow, 296 

Switzerland, 136, 155 

Syrian Christians, their character, 
2 33 oppressions of the Kurds, 
234 ; fidelity to their faith, 
234, 238 ; address on the, 268 

Sze-Chuan, 315 


Ta-lu, 317 

Tangier, 360, 368 

Taplow Hill, 2, 3 ; visit to, 13 ; 

life at, 14; family prayers, 15 
Tattenhall, 347 ; living of, 8 
Taylor, Mrs. Howard, 387 

Lady Jane, 24, 346 

Mrs. Peter, 165 

Canon, his estimate of Islam, 

Mr., 359 

Teignmouth, Lord and Lady, 95, 


Temperance, views on, 184 
Territet, 172 
Thomas, Mrs., 52 
Thomas's, St., Birmingham, 17 
Thompson, Lucy, 4 

Rev. Marmaduke, 4 
Thomson, Mrs., 77, 127 
Thoreau, 43 
Thousand Islands, 33 
Thusis, 136 

Tibet, British, 218 ; Western, 
209, 217 ; paper on, 262 

"Tibetans, Among the," papers 
on, 266 

Tientsin, 289 

Tigris, 220 

Tihran, 223 

Tilail mountain, 215 

Tiree, 77, 179 

Tobermory, 56, 63, 64, 81, 137, 
147, 150, 153, 157, 160, 166, 
178 ; drunkenness in, 184 ; 
Y.W.C.A., branch formed at, 
185 ; cookery classes organised 
at, 264 ; condition of the 
people, 354 

Tokio, 102, 105, 303, 305 ; or- 
phanage at, 325 


Tong-hak rising, 283 

Tooke, Home, 23 

Toole, Mr. J. L., 197 

Toronto, 31, 42 

Torquay, 23 

Torrance, Dr., 187 

Torridon, Loch, 113 

Tosh, Mr., 73 

Trebizond, 229, 242 

Truro, 29 

Tso, General, 287 ; his defeat at 

Pyong-yang, 306 
Tulloch, Principal, 93 
Tumen River, 292 
Tunbridge Wells, 47 
Turin, 155 
Tyrol, 155 
Tytler, Mr. Fraser, 58 

UIST, NORTH, 65 ; South, 65 

Ulva Cottage, 77, 127 

Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, publi- 
cation, 138 ; reviews, 139 ; new 
edition, 168 

United States, tour in, 42 ; re- 
ligious meetings, 43 

United States, Aspects of Religion 
in the, notes on, 45 ; publica- 
tion, 47 

Urmi, 229, 231 ; missionary work 
in, 232 

Usman Shah, 212 

Ussuri, 292 

VALLA Y, 65 

Van, 233, 238 ; American Mission 

House at, 238 
Vancouver's Island, 276 
Verney, Rev. the Hon. Walter R., 

Victoria, Queen, her power of 

bearing cold, 145 ; visit to 

Edinburgh Infirmary, 150; 

receives Mrs. Bishop, 267 ; 

funeral, 361 
Virginia, 42 
Vissoie, 173 
Vladivostock, 291 
Volga ss., 1 06 

WJEBER, MR., 332 

Waller, Mr. Horace, 95 

Walshe, Rev. W. Gilbert, on Mrs. 

Bishop's visit to Shao-Hsing, 


Wan-Hsien, 312 
Warburton, Dr., 210 
Washington, 42 

George, 42 
Waterford, 191 
Wazam, 360, 367 
Wedderburn, Miss, 296 
Wei-hai-wei, fall of, 305 
Wells, Major, 224 
Westbury, 161, 180 

" Where are the Women ? " ad- 
dress on, 374 

Whittier, his lines on the " Eternal 
Gate," 385 

Whyte, Dr., 204, 384 ; Scripture 
Characters, 389 

Wilberforce, Judith, I 

Robert, 3 

William, 3, 14 

Canon, 257 
Wilkinson, Mr., 102, 284 
Williams, Rev. E. O., 315 
Williamson, Mrs., 376, 390 
WiUing Park, 262 
Willoughby, Hon. Mrs., 95 ; 

letters from Miss Bird, 71-3, 87, 

88, 90, 99 ; at Franzensbad, 

Wilson, Dr. J. H., his death and 

funeral, 383 ; his Life of Robert 

S. Candlish, 145 
Winchester, Bishop of, 27, 65 

School, lecture at, 373 
Winton, 92 
Wisconsin, 42 

Wolff, Sir Henry Drummond, 223, 


Wolverton, Lord, 23 
Women Writers, annual dinner, 


Wong, 278, 285, 290 
Wonson, Eastern treaty port of, 

280, 283 
Wright, Dr., 163 

416 INDEX 

Wukingfu, 297 Yi-Hak-In, Mr., 306 

Wylie, Mr., murdered, 289 Yokohama, 101, 276 

Wyton, 348 ; living of, 23 York, missionary meeting at, 257 

Young Women's Christian Asso- 

YANGTZE, 296 ; voyage up the, ciation, branch at Tobermory, 

310 185 ; course of addresses given 

Yangtze Valley and Beyond, 310; to, 200; series of practical 

illustrations, 326 ; dedicated to " Talks," 265 

Lord Salisbury, 350 ; publica- Yumoto, sulphur-baths at, 326 

tion, 351 

Yezd, 226 ZARKTAN CASTLE, 363 

Yezo, 102 Zoji La, 214 

Printed by Hanell, Watson & Viney t Ld. t London and Aylesbury. 

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